Monday, July 26

Holiday Edition

Hardly looked at a vegetable last week, let alone cooked one, so the serious business of Vegetable of the Week will resume in next week's exciting installment of Mrs Robertson Presents. Our holiday diet consisted mostly of grain waves, buffalo feta, chocolate ice cream and sparkly wine.

Actually, we did have breakfast in a cafe where the 'chef' was so visibly angered by Mr Robertson's request for eggs benedict sans ham that we knew, just knew that he'd hoicked in the hollandaise. And my mushrooms! My mushrooms were out out of a can and smothered in evaporated milk! "Haven't these people heard of garlic and olive oil? I mean really, evaporated milk, it looks like semen!" I snorted to Mr R. Oh, we laughed. And then we laughed some more because they were playing the Spin Doctors on the stereo. "I hear you've brought your own music along!" joked Mr R. We're going to be just fine in the country.


But I digress. Last night, consumed with guilt for having been on holiday instead of performing my housewifely duties I whipped up some 'Winter Bake' and a f#*king incredible crumble. The winter bake consisted of a layer of mashed kumara and potato, topped with a layer of sauteed leek, savoy cabbage, baby peas and oregano then finished off with another layer of the potatoes mixture and some grated cheese. Plenty of black pepper for good measure then baked in the oven for 20 odd minutes. Went very nicely with some suspiciously meaty vegetarian sausages, wholegrain mustard and steamed baby carrots.
The crumble was of the rhubarb variety.  I stewed the rhubarb and two apples in orange juice and brown sugar.  Made a crumble mixture from equal measures of wholemeal flour and ground almonds, added more brown sugar, a generous handful of oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and some whole hazlenuts.  Then I rubbed the lot together with a generous chunk of softened butter, put it on top of the stewed fruit and baked for half an hour until the rhubarb was bubbling away at the sides.  Mr R enjoyed his with ice-cream and Master R with custard.  I treated myself to some no fat, no sugar, no taste yoghurt.  One likes to keep trim for Mr R.    

Sunday, July 11

The Mighty Red Onion

Today is a lucky day for the red onion! For today she shall feature as the main ingredient in my soup! Usually she plays the supporting role, the wind beneath the tomato's wings or she's overshadowed by her plainer but very dependable cousin the brown onion. Even on wiki it's suggested that the red onion article be merged with onion general (discuss). Oh the injustice.

I have fielded several 'suggestions' since last week's entry. The first being from "Your Mother of Melbourne" who very much disliked the term 'moreish as crack'. She suggested a more suitable phrase might be 'moreish as chocolate'. By way of a compromise I have settled on 'moreish as chocolate crack.'

The second was from "Your Husband of Melbourne", who feels some mention of modren music would increase the hipster appeal of my blog. He was quite the hipster himself 10 years ago so he knows a lot about these things. So for the record, whilst making today's dish I listened to 'Come Feel the Illinoise' by Sufjan Stevens. Loudly, very loudly.
But I digress. First I peeled and finely sliced (using my amazing new microplane), eight red onions. They bubbled in their own juices and a few glugs of olive oil for about 25 minutes until they were melty and translucent. Then I threw in about half a cup of port, a generous teaspoon each of chopped basil and thyme, a bay leaf, four crushed cloves of garlic and plenty of salt and pepper. When the port had all but disappeared I added a litre of vegetable stock and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared some french bread by rubbing it with garlic, sprinkling it with olive oil and placing it under a hot grill. To the soup I added two tablespoons of tamari and some more black pepper then ladled it into oven-proof bowls. I spread the toasted bread with goats cheese and a drizzle of oil, placed it atop the soup and popped it back under the grill to melt. A sprinkling of thyme for garnish and bob's your uncle, red onion soup. Pronounced "lovely and meaty" by the vegetarian boys.

Assuming that I'm not strangled by a python or castrated by a cassowary, next week's installment will come to you from the tropical paradise that is Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. (Mind you given that the trip is in aid of one's 10th wedding anniversary, a bit of python strangling mightn't go amiss!)

Sunday, July 4

Et voila! (Though the egg could have been runnier and in fact would have been had my father-in-law not phoned and my next-door-neighbour not knocked right at the crucial moment)...

Introducing Vegetable of the Week

This week it's the turn of tuscan cabbage which wikipedia informs me is a variety of kale known to have a sweeter taste following a bout of frost. I braised it in olive oil and a little butter with plenty of salt and pepper and a goodly amount of aged balsamic then threw in a cup of shelled broad beans at the last minute. The balsamic is a present from my mother and her second husband who have just returned from a jaunt around Italy. It is thick, almost syrupy, sweet and sharp and moreish like crack.

The plan is to pile it atop a swirl of parmesan polenta and baked feta then finish it off with a soft poached egg...