My best pal (who moonlights as my husband) and I have just had a gorgeous weekend away in a beachside town a few hours drive from here.
We walked the foreshore, ate in happy little cafes, did some side trips to nearby towns and a wetland conservation centre and held hands….a lot.
The highlight for me was a trip to the Newcastle Farmers Market. Oh boy, talk about happy days. There was stall after stall of organic vegetables, heirloom seedlings, cheese makers, artisan breads and hippy pants. After a yummy breakfast of organic yoghurt, muesli and poached rhubarb we bought up big with purple and yellow carrots, pungent soft garlic, sourdough bread, globe artichoke seedlings and, you guessed it, hippy pants. We also managed to bag some sweet smelling mangoes and a truly lovely tea set for our tea loving daughter.
So now we are home again, refreshed and a little bit weary and I am thinking about tonights dinner. I started off considering one of the old staples and decided if Jamie can pull off a great 15 minute dinner then so can I !
Step one – to the vege patch ! Ok so here is the result of that trip. The first of the seasons yellow and green zuchini and some beautiful yellow squash which very considerately ripened while we were away.
Start the clock …….. I have put on some rice to boil, made up a quick filling for my zuchini flowers, popped some carrots in the oven with red onion, aforementioned garlic and some fennel seeds, thrown a can of tomatoes in a saucepan with some stock and a spoonful of brown sugar.
Herbed rice, fennel roasted heirloom carrots, stuffed zuchini flowers and a sticky tomato sauce – it only took 12 minutes to have it all cooking. Admittedly it’s not on the table in 15 minutes like Jamie Oliver but some things are worth waiting for.
Who said that a quick Sunday night dinner had to be boring ??? I have even managed to write this post for you while it was cooking.
1 cup brown rice
8 zuchini with flowers
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
A handful of chopped herbs – I used parsley and chives
A good grind of pepper
10 heirloom carrots
1 clove garlic
1 spanish onion
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
400g can of tomatoes
1/2 cup stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Put the rice on to cook.
Quarter carrots lengthwise and place on baking tray with quartered onion, crushed garlic and fennel seeds. Toss in some olive oil and place in hot oven to bake till soft. – about 30 mins.
Open out zuchini flowers and remove stamens. Mix together ricotta, herbs, cheese and pepper and spoon into flowers. Place on tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake 20 minutes.
In a saucepan combine tomatoes, sugar and stock and let bubble away till it gets thick and sticky.
Sunday night heaven.