Home' Central Canterbury News : February 6th 2013 Contents 10 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, FEBRUARY 6, 2013
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Classic salad: Tuna nicoise is full of fresh produce.
By SARAH TURPITT
WHETHER YOU planted
an elaborate range of
vegetables in well-
composted raised beds, or a few
tomatoes in pots on your patio,
this summer's warm weather has
seen some excellent results in the
backyard vegetable patch.
However, if you don't garden,
you needn't miss out on enjoying
Drive down any country road
and you are likely to come across
hand-painted signs promoting
the sale of excess crops.
I can't go past a 5kg box of ripe
tomatoes or a mixed box of
stone fruits. And while they are
great eaten fresh, you also need
to come up with some way of
preserving them for future use.
If I run out of time to preserve
the tomatoes, I bag them in 1kg
lots and freeze ready for
soups and sauces through the
The new season's potatoes are
such a treat that I love pairing
them with home-grown beans
and fresh tuna to make a rich
salad nicoise, or roasting them
whole with sea salt and sesame
seeds as an accompaniment to a
As for fresh plums -- around
this time of the year, I start
trotting out one of my favourite
dessert recipes, or any superflu-
ous plums I make into a quick
and simple jam or a spicy plum
sauce to serve with duck
throughout the year.
Tuna Nicoise: This classic
French salad makes the most of
fresh summer produce and ticks
all the boxes when it comes to a
Simple Nicoise Dressing
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
11G2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1G2 c olive oil
Handful of basil leaves, finely
Place the shallot, garlic, mustard,
vinegar and olive oil into the food
processor and blend until
smooth. Add the basil and
allow to stand while you prepare
300g green beans, trimmed
500g new potatoes, scrubbed
Salt and pepper
400g fresh tuna fillets
1 crispy lettuce, iceberg or cos
200g vine-on or cherry
4 anchovy fillets, sliced
Handful of small, black, pitted
Handful of parsley, chopped
Cook the beans in boiling salted
water until tender.
Drain, refresh under running
cold water and drain again.
Cook the eggs in boiling salted
water for 8 minutes.
Cool under running cold water,
Cook the potatoes in boiling
salted water until tender.
Drain and allow to air cool,
then slice into rounds.
Heat a little of the oil in large
Season the tuna fillets and
sear for a couple of minutes on
Remove from the heat and
leave to stand while you complete
Tear the lettuce leaves and
place them in a large bowl.
Add the beans, potatoes, tom-
atoes, anchovy fillets and olives,
and mix with half of the dressing.
Arrange on a large platter.
Arrange the tuna fillets and eggs
on top of the salad, and drizzle
with remaining dressing.
Sprinkle with plenty of chop-
I am always getting asked how
to cook duck, but with this spicy
plum sauce in the cupboard,
you have a duck dish just
waiting to happen. And it
improves with age, so leave it a
couple of weeks before using.
Makes about 8 x 500ml jars.
2 kg plums, halved and stones
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 1G2 cups sugar
2 cups malt vinegar
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and
finely chopped or grated
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
Place all the ingredients into a
large pot and use a stick blender
to blend until smooth.
Alternatively, you can push the
mixture through a fine sieve once
cooking is completed.
Place the pot over a moderate
heat and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat and simmer for
Pour the sauce into sterilised
jars and seal with screwtop lids.
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