3 healthy recipes for al fresco dining using the best of the season’s produce

Meat-Free Oysters with Avocado Pearls

Although this recipe calls for some unusual ingredients, they are worth the hunt! The oyster shells can also be washed and reused for your next party—very sustainable!

Ingredients:

  • 50g samphire, finely chopped 
  • 100g cucumber, chopped brunoise 
  • A few fresh sprigs of coriander, finely chopped 
  • Juice of ½ lemon, and wedges for serving 
  • ¼ red chilli, finely chopped, more to taste 
  • 12 empty and cleaned oyster shells 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado 
  • Sea salt and pepper 
  • 125g wakame or seaweed salad, rehydrated 
  • To garnish: cress 
  • To serve: crushed ice

Method: 

  1. Combine the samphire, cucumber, coriander and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Season to taste and stir in the chopped chilli. 
  2. Divide the wakame evenly into the 12 shells. 
  3. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and use the melon baller to make 12 avocado ‘pearls’ in total, 6 per half. 
  4. Divide the samphire and cucumber mixture between the 12 oyster shells, then top each oyster with an avocado pearl. 
  5. Drizzle with a little olive oil, garnish with cress and serve the oysters immediately on crushed ice, with extra lemon wedges on the side. 

South African Pear, Gorgonzola & Butternut Risotto

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 35 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 300g prepared butternut squash, chopped into small chunks (about 1cm)
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1tbsp chopped fresh sage or thyme
  • 1 South African pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 40g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 250g Gorgonzola
  • South African pear slices and a few sage or thyme leaves, for garnish

Method:

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep-sided frying pan. Add the rice and butternut squash and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Take care that the rice doesn’t burn!

2 Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and evaporate.

3 Pour about one third of the stock into the pan and cook the risotto over a low heat, stirring often, until the liquid has almost been absorbed. Gradually add the remaining stock and continue to cook gently until it has all been absorbed, and the rice is swollen and tender. This will take about 25-30 minutes.

4 Add the sage or thyme, South African pear slices, lemon zest and Parmesan. Cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes. Serve each portion topped with a generous slice of Gorgonzola, garnished with pear slices and sage or thyme.

Cook’s tip: Risotto has to be cooked slowly so that the rice gradually absorbs the liquid to become creamy and delicious – choose Italian arborio or carnaroli rice for the best result.

For more recipes using South African pear, visit the website.

Yvonne Bishop-Weston Super Salad

Preparation: 10 minutes

Serves 1-2, depending on appetite!

Ingredients:

(For the dressing)

  • 50g natural organic yogurt or soya yogurt
  • 4g (1 teaspoon) fresh dill – finely chopped
  • 10g (1 teaspoon) horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

(For the salad}

  • 2 Omega-3 eggs hard boiled or poached
  • 80g cooked beetroot – chopped
  • 60g yellow pepper – chopped
  • 40g (2 tablespoons) sprouted beans and lentils (supermarket mix)
  • 2 handfuls (40g) of mixed leaves  – washed and drained
  • 6 walnut halves
  • Rock salt to taste

Serve with:

  • 1 slice of rye toast topped with half a small avocado black pepper and lemon juice or with houmous or tahini

Method:

  1. Mix the dressing ingredients together.
  2. Boil the eggs (we like the yolks to be a little soft and ever so slightly runny but you should cook them to your taste).
  3. Place the leaves on a plate. Mix the beetroot, peppers and sprouted beans and place on the leaves. Cut the egg into halves and place on the beetroot mix with the walnuts.
  4. Top with the dressing and serve immediately.
  5. Toast the rye bread and add the topping of your choice.

For more beetroot recipes, visit Love Beetroot.

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