Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fruit pearls

Quick post today, and a quick idea!

I make fruit salad with watermelon and blueberries quite often, scooping the watermelon with one of those gadgets that makes little balls (and using the watermelon shell as a container). I really like the colours together, and there is no need for sugar. This time I also added some Cape Gooseberries and some Alpine (wild) strawberries from the garden, very effective, and a sugar free healthy dessert!

Photos and recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rangpur, not Tahitian limes

Sue brought me some organic citrus fruit from a friend's garden in Coromandel, she told that they were Tahitian limes. I heard this before in NZ, I think that this is the common name here, but they don't look like limes, more like yellow mandarins, and they taste a bit like grapefruit. So I did a quick search and found that they probably are Rangpur, a cross between a mandarin and a lemon.

What to do with them? Well, I read that they are great for gin and tonic (maybe this is why they call them limes), but usually I only drink gin and tonic when I go to other people's houses (a very common pre-dinner drink in NZ), but they can be used in desserts and to make agar agar puddings. And I can add that I had a good use for the peels: I put them in a gauze and tied it up to make a gigantic 'tea bag' to put in my hot bath. The fragrance is divine, a bit like a bath with the Japanese yuzu fruit, very citrusy and full of 'zest'.

Please let me know if you know this fruit, and what you do with it.

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin with coconut cream and basil (and add tofu to make it into a main!)

I had half a pumpkin to use, but just a little bit of Thai herbs mix (ginger, lemon grass, chili, garlic and coriander), certainly not enough to give my pumpkin a spicy flavor! Still, I felt like coconut, so I cut the pumpkin and two celery stalks with leaves and put them in my pot, then I added one can of coconut cream plus one can of water (to rinse the cream out), the remaining Thai herbs mix (about half tsp) and one organic veggie stock cube. I cook the lot until the pumpkin was soft, then I adjusted it for salt and added plenty of fresh basil leaves. I wanted to add some of my Vietnamese mint but it has all dried up (no rain in Auckland either) but the basil was strong flavored and I was surprised how nice this tasted in the end! I though of using this as a side dish (like in the photo) but I run out of time to make the main and since this dish had so much sauce I just added some cubed firm tofu to it when I warmed it up for dinner. I served with Thai rice. Very nice way of eating pumpkin in summer!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©