Archives for posts with tag: vegetarian

Ophelia's kale and kumara (or sweet potato

Finally I got around to making Ophelia’s beautiful pie!

I’m nearing my last month in New York for 2013… it’s can hardly bear to write it on the blog, it’s like setting my departure in concrete. Consequently I have crammed my life full of the New York food and experiences I won’t get back home over summer. There’s been so many eating spots to try before I go, so I haven’t been cooking much at all. I’ll make it up to you all with a list of my favorite New York eating spots, and a ton of recipes when I settle into my Mama’s beautiful kitchen over a long kiwi summer.

So… kale is a bit trendy these days, not just in Brooklyn, New York, but in New Zealand too. My mother recently asked me for some kale recipes since its popping up in all the grocery stores in Auckland! Ophelia picks her kale from the Devonport community garden. She collects a beautiful variety of kale to use in her pie. I got my kale from a roadside farmers market in Bushwick, and to make up for a lack of kumara in America, I also picked up sweet potato, baby beets, new season purple and white baby potatoes. Finding fresh red chili was an absolute score so I added that to the pie too.

Here is Ophelia’s recipe:

Oven at 180 degrees.

For the crust:

2 cups ground millet

2 cups ground almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 tbsp butter

2 cold eggs

1 tbsp of cold water

For the filling:

1 red onion

10 stalks of kale (Ophelia used a mixture of curly kale, dino kale, redbor kale and red russian kale)

2 large kumaras diced (I used 1 sweet potato and 4 baby beets instead)

2 large potatoes diced (or 10 baby potatoes halved)

1/2 red chili

150g goats cheese

3 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

For the crust combine the millet, almonds, coconut, chili, butter and sea salt in your blender. As it is blending add the baking soda, eggs and cold water and blend for a minute or until mixture is more or less bound (you can stop and help it by hand if need be). Scoop mixture into a seal lock bag, and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Boil for kumara and potatoes (we want them just cooked, firm, not squishy and falling apart) with sea salt, set aside.

In a pan place onions with olive oil and sea salt- cook slowly until clear and then add the kale. Take off the heat after a few minutes- we still want the kale retain its colour and crunch.

In a flat round dish (mine has a 25cm diameter with a 4cm wall) press the cold crust mixture around the base and wall of the dish. Now add half of the kale and onions and then place the kumara and potatoes (I like to place them alternatively k,p,k,p,k around the edge and then make smaller circle as you go in). Break off the goats feta and pop it in-between the root veggie and then use the rest of the kale and onions on top to fill the gaps.

Whisk the eggs and use these too to fill any gaps.

Pop in the oven for 40mins or until the golden, you’ll know when it’s done x


Eggplant and ricottaI’ve discovered this wonderful new thing, roadside farmers markets. They are all around my neighborhood at the moment. All the produce is cheap as hell and gorgeous, especially the root vegetables (baby potato and baby beet addiction). It’s easy to get inspired and I’ll have a dish pop into my head after perusing the stands for a few minutes. I spotted fresh figs and eggplants and I immediately went home to make this.

Serves 4 as a starter.

Oven at 220 degrees celsius.


2 Large eggplants, halved and scored across the flesh in a diagonal criss-cross

1/2 cup olive oil

8 figs, quartered

8 tablespoons of ricotta

rind of 2 lemons

2 tsp leaves + 4 sprigs of lemon thyme

6 tbsp balsamic vinegar

40g sugar

Place the eggplants on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Massage olive oil into the flesh until all the oil has been absorbed by the eggplants. Sprinkle with lemon thyme leaves and a very generous amount of salt and pepper, eggplant is so mild in flavour it is hard to be heavy handed on the seasoning. Bake for about 30 minutes, until flesh is soft and browned. Don’t ignore any spongey bits! Undercooked eggplant is the worst. Remove from oven and cool.

Carefully mix together ricotta and lemon rind, set aside in fridge until you are ready to use it.

In a pan combine balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to the boil then decrease the heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, until it thickens but is still pourable. It will thicken more as it cools, add a drop of water if it is no longer pourable.

To assemble, place at half an eggplant flesh side up on a plate. Top with 2 tablespoons of the ricotta lemon mix and then a handful of the figs, drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme, serve immediately.

P.s. if you have Instagram you can follow me @emmainthesauce. I often post photos of my dishes before the illustrations and recipes go up on the blog.


Emma xx

Mango tartWell, it’s a fresh mango pie with a toasted coconut crust and lime mascarpone, drizzled with saffron syrup.

I thought I better change up the way I consumed mangos, so I came up with this pie. I can’t be modest right now, it was incredible. Maybe because I’m obsessed with all the ingredients involved, or maybe because it looked beautiful (that yellow/orange, red and green combo, oh yeah). It was one of those rare times when I didn’t think ‘ohh it’s yummy but I would definitely go more ______ when I make it again’.

You could definitely play around with this recipe. I love the honey-like saffron infusion, but using fresh red chili to make a syrup would also be wonderful. Flaky pastry would be good too for a ‘lighter’ option, if you knew of a good pre-made flaky pastry you could make this tart in 10 minutes. I’m a big fan of making my own pastry though, and just quietly, Little and Friday (where I used to work with some of my favourite people in the world, including my little brother ❤ )  pastry recipes are my absolute go to.

mango, lime and saffron

As always the quality of the key ingredient (mango) is essential! If you can’t find good mangos, don’t make this pie. They need to be ripe and flavorsome. Depending on the variety/sweetness of the mango you end up with, I would add or leave out the confectioners sugar in the mascarpone mix. Obviously, if the mango is super sweet and juicy, eliminate most of the sugar in the mascarpone mix.

For the pie crust:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius

1/2 cup flaked coconut

3/4 plain flour

7 tbsp chilled butter, chopped into small chunks

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

Toast coconut in one layer on a pie dish in the oven, for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden. Set aside to cool.

Once the coconut is room temperature (it won’t take long to get there) pulse together flour, coconut, butter, confectioners sugar, and salt in a food processor until dough just begins to form a ball. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of a greased pie dish with floured fingers, then freeze until firm. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes, then cool completely in the pie dish on a rack.

For the rest:

1 large or 2 small, ripe juicy mangos. To prepare them, cut off each end and sit facing upwards, entirely peel and then cut away from the stone as close to it as possible. Slice each side into really, really thin slices. They need to be flexible as to arrange them you will be bending them into S’s!

250g mascarpone

150ml pouring cream

1 lime, rinded and juiced

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

a generous pinch of saffron threads

Beat together mascarpone, pouring cream, lime rind, lime juice and confectioners sugar until thick and silky. Keep in fridge till your ready to use it.

In a saucepan combine granulated sugar, water and saffron. Bring to the boil gently, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down and simmer gently until you have a saffron-infused syrup, thick but not so thick as to turn it to toffee (beware it can happen very quickly). Set aside.

To assemble:

Spread the coconut crust with the lime-mascarpone. Create S shapes with the mangos and position the S’s sideways on the mascarpone filling, so you are looking down as lots of mango S’s. Cover the filling until all the mango is on the pie. Finally, drizzle the pie with the saffron syrup. It is easiest to serve after a half an hour stint in the fridge post-assembly, but if you can’t wait, just enjoy the delicious crumbly mess!

Roast vege stack with polenta and feta

The first time I ‘hosted’ a dinner party at home, I made this dish. I was cooking for my godparents, my parents and my little brother. All I can say is, I had a tantrum, I cried, mum saved the day.

On reflection this is a dead easy, very satisfying Autumn meal. I’ve made it multiple times since, for 3 times the number of people as that first attempt, my only hitch being (lack of) oven space for roasting the vegetables. You can really make it with any roasting veges you like, I have my favourites and I’m sure you do to. The tomato sauce is essential, you can make it with fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, depending on how luxurious you are feeling. If you use fresh tomatoes just make sure they are juicy ones. Make sure you buy the instant polenta, you don’t want to be stirring a pot of polenta for 40 minutes!


Roast vege stack with feta and tomato-drowned polenta

Heat oven to 220 degrees celcius

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthways 1cm thick

2 courgettes sliced lengthways in thick strips

2 tomatoes for roasting, halved

2 red and yellow capsicums, or peppers if your american, sliced

4 portabello mushrooms

2 red chili’s finally sliced

4 whole garlic cloves, 2 chopped cloves

2 red onions, quartered 

a very generous amount of olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 cup instant polenta

1 cup of chopped tomatoes fresh or canned

2 sprigs thyme, a few leaves picked off

a little sugar

1 small block of creamy feta, sliced into large flat triangles

toasted pinenuts if you feel like it

a handful of basil leaves to serve

Douse the roasting vegetables bar the chili, in oil and salt and pepper and toss till coated. Place on oven trays and cook in stages, starting with those that take the longest to roast, eggplant. Keep a close eye on the veges, flipping them 20 minutes in. They should take roughly 40-60 mins but it really depends on the oven. Use the warmer draw to keep the vegetables hot.

While you are roasting, make the tomato sauce. Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic, fry a little. Add the tomatoes, they should bubble and splatter, don’t be alarmed. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, and a tsp sugar. Simmer and reduce the tomato sauce. Taste test, it should be really flavorsome and and thick but still saucy enough to pour, if so take off heat. I tend to end up adding a lot of seasoning to make it really punchy.

For the polenta, follow the instructions on the back of the packet to make a thick polenta. Pour into a shallow dish and leave aside to set. after 10-15 minutes slice it into quarters.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and when hot, add the chili and fry for a little, just long enough to infuse the oil but without losing the colour of the chili. It will only be a few minutes.

To plate up, set your roast veges, feta, basil, pine nuts, polenta and tomato sauce on the bench together. Put each piece of polenta on each plate, and top each with 1/4 of the tomato sauce. layer the roast veges with slices of feta and bits of basil, then top with the chili oil, pine nuts and any remaining basil.