Jerusalem Artichoke soup

from Susan (Stephanie Alexander’s recipe from The Cook’s Companion) Jerusalem Artichoke Soup 60 gm butter500 gm Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into even chunks  1 onion, sliced1 clove garlic, lightly crushed1 stick celery, finely sliced1 potato or sweet potato, diced1 litre chicken stocksalt and pepperfreshly snipped chivesfreshly grated nutmegthick cream (optional) Melt butter in a heavy based [more]

Pickled Cucumbers

Thanks to Cornersmith for the lovely recipe:   Ingredients 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) Lebanese (short) cucumbers (the smaller, the better)  2 tbsp salt 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) white wine vinegar 220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar ½ tsp turmeric 2 small brown onions, thinly sliced 3 tsp brown mustard seeds [more]

Mary Ann and the love of beetroot

my favourite veggie in the garden: I guess beetroot is my favourite vegetable because it is so versatile and bright blush purpley red! It can be savoury or sweet (just like me), all parts can be used – try stir frying the leaves, crunchy or silky smooth. And it turns your fingers (and bench tops) pink. [more]

Pumpkin Pie

EASY PUMPKIN PIE By Kevin Hall 2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry. 2 ¼ cups cooked mashed pumpkin Roasted is best. 395 gm can sweetened condensed milk. 2 tbsp cornflour. 2 eggs. ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg ½ tsp mixed spice METHOD Heat oven to 180* C. Line a 25cm pie dish with [more]

Beetroot & ginger cake

BEETROOT AND GINGER CAKE – Inspired by Ottolenghi by Mary Ann Grant 1/2 cup (100g) finely chopped candied or crystalized ginger 1 2/3 cups (200g) flour 3/4 cup (150g) sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 large red beets, peeled and grated finely grated zest of one orange 2/3 [more]

Pumpkin and Goat’s Cheese Roulade

6 portions 1 kg butternut pumpkin (any pumpkin will do) olive oil 1 pinch of chilli flakes 2 cloves of garlic 60 g whole peeled almonds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 6 large free-range eggs 80 g Parmesan cheese 60 g plain flour 5 pinches of grated nutmeg 300 g silver beet 100 g crumbly goat’s [more]

Lyonnaise Salad

For 2 portions 250 g thick cut bacon 2 slices of bread, torn into chunks 1 garlic clove 3 tbs sherry or red vine vinegar 1 tbs Dijon mustard 1 tbs chopped tarragon leaves 1 tbs chopped chives 4 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 cups torn curly endive, washed [more]

Blanching Endives and Radicchio

Curly endives and radicchio are two crops in the lettuce family with a slightly bitter taste. They are great mixed with other salad leaves or with a sweet honey dressing. Endive leaves get more bitter the longer they are subjected to sunlight, radicchio even changes the colour of it’s leaves from red to green when [more]

Squash with cardamom & nigella seeds

Mary Ann Grant (inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi) Ingredients 20g unsalted butter 1 tbsp olive oil 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and cut into 1cm-thick slices (170g) Squash or pumpkin (about 1.2kg), peeled and cut into 3cm chunks 30g pumpkin seeds 1¼ tsp nigella seeds 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp ground [more]

Turkish style Carrot Yogurt Dip

A tasty, refreshing dip inspired by Meyhanee restaurant in Balmain. An ideal accompaniment to your favourite summer beverage. The quantities are not critical, you can make it more carroty or more “yoghurt”, or indeed add your own favourite spice flavours. Ingredients  1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 3 medium to large carrots peeled and grated 1/4 [more]

Fennel {& friends} Risotto

The star is fennel, but it does have very tasty co-stars… I love roasted fennel, and this risotto recipe evolved to incorporate my other roasting favourite – red capsicum.  Then came the addition of homemade preserved lemon, which is always a lovely combo with fennel. Ingredients: 1 brown onion finely chopped 2 cloves garlic 1 [more]

Herbed Baked Ricotta

Part 1: How to make home made Ricotta If you would like to make your own fresh ricotta, the recipe is here at Not Quite Nigella Part 2: How to make baked Ricotta with herbs Cut a thick slice of ricotta and put it in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake for [more]

Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 1⁄2 cup sugar 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 cup mashed pumpkin (cold) / 750grams Steam until cooked but still firm. Place in warm oven to dry out. 2 cups self-raising flour Directions Beat together butter, sugar and salt with electric mixer. Add egg, then pumpkin and stir in the flour until just combined. Turn on to [more]


Botanical name: Daucus Carota subs. sativus Description: There is evidence of carrots been a vegetable already 5000 years ago in what is today’s Afghanistan. The original cultivated plant had a purple root, orange varieties first appeared in Europe in the 1700’s. The 20 to 30 cm long roots range from orange, yellow, purple to white [more]

hey presto – PESTO!

by Pip Dodds The garden is overflowing with basil at the moment , and we all know what that means – it’s pesto time! There are a hundred delicious things to do with pesto, and if you’ve never made your own before, now is the perfect time to give it a go. Grab a big [more]

Sweet potato

Botanical name: Ipomoea batatas Description: Sweet potatoes one of the only two edible and non toxic plants in the morning glory family (the other one is water spinach). They are grown for their starchy root bulbs; the leaves and young shoots of some sweet potatoes are also used as a vegetable. They are not closely [more]

Morning glory

Botanical name Convolvulacea Features of morning glory Plants of the morning glory family show a funnel like flower made up out of 5 petals. They grow as vines or shrubs and have winding stems. The leaves are alternate. Some of them produce starchy tubers. Species we grow Sweet potatoes Other common plants in this family [more]


Botanical name: Fragaria x ananassa Description: Strawberries (together with apples, roses, most stone-fruit and almonds) are a member of the rose family (rosaceae). Strawberry plants grow 20 to 30 cm high, show dark green serrated leaves and usually flowers with white petals, that look like tiny wild roses. The fruit is conically shaped, dark red, [more]


Felicity’s perfect gazpacho – Felicity Cloake Word of mouth blog The Guardian The real secret to gazpacho, if we assume your ingredients are ripe and your fridge cold, is good olive oil, and lots of it. Meanness has no place here, unless you’re a frugal peasant – pour it in in great glugs, and then [more]


Botanical name: Lactuca sativa Description: Lettuce plants and their ancestors are native to Europe and Northern Asia. They are usually grown for their colourful green and red leaves that grow 15 to 30 cm high. They have been cultivated to a variety of colours, textures (soft and tender to crisp and crunchy) and shapes (dense [more]

Tomato Bud Worm

  Signs of infestation Young caterpillars feed on the foliage first before moving into flower buds or developing fruits. What is happening and why? Budworms are caterpillars of the Helicoverpa moth family. The moths lay their eggs at night on young foliage close to fruits or flower buds and the young caterpillars feed on the [more]

Broad Bean and Sage Pasta

Peel broad beans, fresh from the garden, or use frozen broad beans. Blanch beans in boiling water for 90 seconds and refresh in cold water. ‘Double peel’ beans, i.e. remove the tough skin from each bean, so that you are left with the tender, vibrantly green heart of the broad bean. You will need about [more]

Broad Beans

Botanical name: Vicia fava Description: Broad beans or fava beans are part of the legume family. The inedible pods of broad beans are thick and spongy, containing 2 to 7 large, flat, bright green tender beans. The plant builds 2 to 4 stems that grow up to 180 cm high. It shows white flowers with [more]

Beetroot chocolate cake

Ingredients 250g beetroot 200g fine dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) 4 tbsp hot espresso 200g butter 135g plain flour a heaped tsp baking powder 3 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder 5 eggs 190g golden caster sugar crème fraîche and poppy seeds, to serve Method Lightly butter a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the [more]

Kale Chips

Garden member Mikaila Palmer made these delicious treats Vegan kale chips 283 g chopped kale leaves, washed, thoroughly dried (stems removed) 30 ml grape seed, olive or avocado oil 1/4 cup / 30 g raw cashews, soaked in water for 2-4 hours 2 Tbsp / 14 g raw or roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds 6 Tbsp [more]

Zucchini flower pie

This is a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi – (he calls it Corsican Pie with courgette flowers) I made this one using zucchini flowers, swiss chard and some kale from the garden. Ingredients •1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (85g) •3 celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced (220g) •8 large Swiss chard leaves, white stalks discarded, [more]

Cabbage family

Botanical name: Brassicaceae, also known as the mustard family, cruciferae or crucifers Features of the cabbage family: The cabbage family comprises a wide variety of cultivated plants that are important as vegetables and leafy greens, as spices and as a base for every day condiments and cooking oils. The family is distributed globally. While particular [more]

Basella family

Botanical name: Basellaceae Features of the basellas: Basellas are native to Africa, India and southeast Asia. The plants in this family are climbers with vines up to 10 meters long. These herbaceous plants can be grown as perennials. The leaves are heart-shaped. The leaves and stems are semi succulent. Flowers and fruits are grouped into [more]

Malabar spinach

Botanical name: Basella rubra Description: Herbaceous semi succulent perennial plant with vines up to 10 m long. The stems are red and soft. The leaves are heart-shaped. Reported to be high in calcium, iron, soluble fibre and vitamins A and C. The whole plant is edible. How to grow: The plant is actually a perennial, [more]


Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum Description: Basil is a herb in the mint family. It shows a flower fused out of 5 petals and showing an upper and a lower lip, typical for this family. Basil grows best as an annual plant. It has green leaves placed in pairs growing opposite each other on a slightly [more]


Botanical name: Cymbopogon citratus Description: Lemon grass is a herbal shrub and a member of the true grass family, it is related to sugar cane and corn. It origins in south India and South East Asia and grows as a perennial in areas with no frost. Lemongrass grows thick stems up to 2 cm in [more]

Bok choi

Botanical name: Brassica rapa, one of several Chinensis cultivars of this species Description: Bok choi is one of the Asian greens, a type of Chinese cabbage. This quick growing cabbage doesn’t build a firm head but a flattish rosette of dark green leaves, 5 cm high and about 20 cm in diameter. The leaves are [more]


Botanical name: Brassica rapa var. rosularis or Brassica narinosa Description: Tatsoi is one of the Asian greens, a type of Chinese cabbage. This quick growing cabbage doesn’t build a firm head. It forms a low growing rosette of small spoon shaped dark green leaves with short pale lime green stems. The leaves are the vegetable [more]


Botanical name: Eruca sativa is the garden rocket and Diplotaxis tenuifolia is the wild rocket Description: There are two varieties of rocket. The garden rocket with lobed leaves and white flowers and the wild rocket with deeply serrated leaves and yellow flowers. Both have deep green leaves with a  spicy, nutty flavour, the later variety [more]

Pak choi

Botanical name: Brassica rapa, one of several Chinensis cultivars of this species Description: Pak choi is one of the Asian greens, a type of Chinese cabbage. This quick growing cabbage builds a very loose head with long green leaves and succulent white stems. The stems and leaves are the vegetable and are about 30 cm [more]

Choi sum

Botanical name: Brassica rapa var. parachinensis Description: Choi sum is one of the Asian greens, a type of Chinese cabbage. This quick growing cabbage doesn’t build a firm head but long slender crunchy stems with oblong green leaves. The stems are 2 cm wide and up to 30 cm long. The leaves are up to [more]

Sprouting broccoli

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. italica, calabrese Description: Sprouting broccoli is a variety of broccoli with smaller heads on a larger number of thinner stems than ordinary broccoli. The plant grows up to 80 cm high. It develops a strong main stem 5-8 cm in diameter with several branches. The dark green leaves are 20 [more]


Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes Description: Kohlrabi is closely related to broccoli. It is grown for it’s bulbous, swollen stem which comes in a light green and a purple variety. The kohlrabi bulb reaches about 10 cm in diameter. The leaves grow directly from the bulbous stem and are up to 40 cm long. [more]

Black Spanish radish

Botanical name: Raphanus sativus, var niger Description: Radishes are quick growing annual or biennial plants native to Asia, but can now be found worldwide. The black Spanish radish is grown for it’s swollen globular up to 10 cm in diameter tap roots. The skin colour of the root is black, but the flesh is white. [more]

French radish

Botanical name: Raphanus sativus Description: Radishes are quick growing annual or biennial plants native to Asia, but can now be found worldwide. French radishes are grown for their swollen long or globular tap roots, up to 10 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. The skin colour of the root is white or red, the [more]

Daikon radish

Botanical name: Raphanus sativus, var longipinnatus Description: Radishes are quick growing annual or biennial plants native to Asia, but can now be found worldwide. The daikon radish is grown for it’s swollen long tap roots, up to 40 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. The skin colour of the root is white, as is [more]

Curly kale

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. sabellica Description: Curly kale is a plant in the cabbage family that produces oblong shaped leaves instead of a head. The leaves are green or purple in colour, about 30 cm long and have a curly rim. Some kale varieties can grow more than a meter in height, the plants [more]

Tuscan kale

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. palmifolia Description: Tuscan kale is a plant in the cabbage family that produces oblong shaped leaves instead of a head. The leaves are dark bluish green in colour, about 40 cm long and have a bumpy surface. Tuscan kale plants grow about 80 cm high. Kale originates in Europe were [more]


Botanical name: Capsicum annuum; Capsicum chinense; Capsicum frutescens Description: There are several genus of chilies. Most chilies, like Thai chilies, jalapenos and long chilies are part of the genus ‘annuum’, which also features the capsicums. The genus ‘frutescens’ has very colourful, small fruits from white over yellow to green, red and purple; tabasco peppers and [more]


Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum Description: Parsley is a herbaceous plant in the umbel family. The plant shows dark green leaves that branch into three 1 to 3 cm big leaflets. Italian parsley grows about 40 cm high, curly parsley up to 25 cm, they are both cultivars of the same plant. Parsley is native to [more]


Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare dulce Description: The fennel cultivar that produces a swollen, bulb like stem at the bottom is often called Florence fennel as opposed to it’s herb like sibling the bronze fennel that is cultivated as a decorative plant. Both are cultivars of the wild fennel plant that originates in the Mediterranean and [more]

Parsley family

Botanical name Umbelliferae or apiaceae also known as the umbel family, carrot family, celery family Features of the parsley family A lot of members of this family are aromatic herbs. Native worldwide, especially in north temperate regions. The name giving feature is that the tiny flowers are grouped together in umbels. The plants in this [more]

Snow and Snap Peas

Botanical name: Pisum sativum var. saccharatum (Snow pea), Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon (Snap pea) Description: Both snow peas and sugar snaps are cultivars of the podded pea. They are members of the legume family. The sugar snap offer a more rounded  4 cm pod, the snow pea a 6 cm flat pod. If the pods [more]

Climbing Beans

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris Description: Climbing beans are the immature 10 to 15 cm long seed pods of the common bean. They are part of the legume family. There is a wide range of cultivars of climbing beans with pods coloured green, yellow (wax beans), purple, red or streaked. There are thin beans (harricots) and [more]

Legume family

Botanical name Fabaceae also known as leguminosae Features of legumes Plants in the legume family cover a wide range from big trees to shrubs from vines climbing using tendrils to small annual herbs. Most legumes fruits are pods. The pods contain the seeds. Legume fruit are very nutritious and offer a high content of protein. [more]


  Botanical name: Cucumis sativus Description: Cucumbers are members of the gourd family. The plant has tendrils and is a climbing vine. The leaves are palmate and up to 40 cm wide. The stems of the plant are hollow and ridged and fruit show a prickly surface. The flowers are yellow and up to 15 [more]


Botanical name: Cucurbita pepo Description: Squash is a member of the gourd family. The plant has tendrils and is a climbing vine. The vines grow up to 15 meters long, they produce anchoring roots that only root down superficially. The leaves are palmate and up to 40 cm wide. The stems of the plant are [more]

Gourd family

Botanical name Cucurbitaceae also known as cucurbits Features of gourds Plants of the gourd family are summer crops. They grow as vines or shrubs and have a hollow five ridged stem. Their up to 50 cm big leaves are palmate with 3 to 5 lobes. Leaves, stems, and fruit are often prickly. The stems develop [more]

Knotweed family

Botanical name Polygonaceae Features of knotweeds Knotweeds are a family of plants that grow widespread in temperate regions. The stems are often striped and have several ridges. Most plants in this family are herbs or vines. Knotweeds can grow as perennials. Several species in this family taste quite tart due to a significant content of oxalic [more]

Amaranth family

Botanical name: Amaranthaceae Features of the amaranths: Amaranths are a family of plants that grow widespread from the tropics to the cool temperate regions. Most plants in this family are fairly hardy herbs or small shrubs that tolerate salty soil and drought conditions quite well. They are branching, broad-leaved plants with often egg shaped or [more]

Rhubarb crumble

Here is one of John’s favorite dishes, making use of the beautiful rhubarb that grows in the perennial beds. Use the stalks of the rhubarb, they are really yummy, the leaves are not good for human consumption!   Serving 6 people 750 g rhubarb, cut into 2-3 cm chunks 75 g soft brown sugar 1 [more]


Botanical name: Solanum lycopersicum Description: Tomatoes are part of the nightshade or solanaceaes family. Only the fruit of tomatoes are edible! Flowers, greens and shoots should not be consumed because they contain a toxin. There are varieties that grow like a bush and varieties that grow like vines. Tomato plants are vigorous growers. They produce [more]

Nightshade family

Botanical name Solanaceae Features of the nightshade family This plant family is very diverse, it ranges from annuals to perennials, herbs, vines, shrubs and even trees. It is present globally. Plants in the nightshade family show a typical  star shaped flower with five petals that are grown together to a funnel. Most of these plants [more]


Botanical name: Beta vulgaris Description: Beetroots are actually the same plant as the silverbeet and the rainbow chard. Farmers selectively bred cultivars with big, tender swollen taproots, which is the actual vegetable. They grow about 40 cm high. The leaves are egg-shaped or oblong and show colourful veins. While most cultivars have red beets, there [more]

Rainbow chard

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris, var. cicla Description: Rainbow chard is actually the same plant as the beetroot and the silverbeet. Farmers selectively bred more leafy cultivars with smaller to none bulbs and thicker stems. They grow about 50 cm high. The leaves show an intense green, have colourful yellow, red or orange veins and are [more]

English spinach

Botanical name: Spinacia oleracea Description: Spinach grows about 30 cm tall. It shows green oval to rhombic, curly or smooth leaves up to 30 cm long 15 cm wide. The leaves (including the stems) are the vegetable. Spinach doesn’t like acidic soil and needs soil temperatures not to be higher than 25 C. It is [more]


Botanical name: Beta vulgaris, var. cicla Description: Silverbeet, also known as Swiss chard is actually the same plant as the beetroot and the rainbow chard. Farmers selectively bred more leafy cultivars with smaller to no bulbs and thicker stems. They grow about 50 cm high. The leaves show an intense green, have white veins and [more]


Botanical name: Brassica rapa subsp. nipposinica Description: Mizuna is Japanese mustard green that looks a bit like wild rocket. There are lots of different varieties of Mizuna. They all offer 10 to 20 cm long, deeply serrated and feathered leaves, that are about 5 cm wide. The leaves are the vegetable and have a crisp [more]

Mizuna based salads

This is one of a wide range of mizuna based salads. The mizuna give‎s the salad a fresh crunchiness that works beautifully with something sweet like fruit or roasted beetroot and brings back the summer. The recipe: ‎mizuna leaves papaya – you can also use rock melon, or oven-baked beetroot or pumpkin, dried tomatoes goat’s [more]

Kohlrabi beetroot salad

Garden member Sylvia made this delicious looking salad using veggies almost exclusively from the weekend’s harvest. She made it with matchstick kohlrabi and fennel mixed with plain yoghurt (plus a little ricotta) and dill arranged on endives, rocket and lettuce leaves, with chunks of roasted beetroot and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Yum! [more]