The union of fennel with orange is one of my favourites. Thanks to Diego Bonetto’s foraging tour I learnt how to identify edible plants growing wild in my backyard including fennel.
This ladies lunch was weeks ago now but for some reason I still haven’t shared these recipes. I was craving sour cherries so much so that I started eating them straight from the can! The lavender and rose petals that delicately adorn the cream add a subtle floral feminine touch – perfect since it was for a ‘ladies lunch’.
3 cups self raising flour
80g of chopped, salted, room temperature butter
1 cup of full cream milk
Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub through the butter lifting your hands high above the bowl to aerate the mixture until it forms fine crumbs. Pour in the milk and combine with a butter knife until the dough just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press the dough together 5 times without kneading. Roll out the dough to a few centimetres thick and cut out rounds. I used the opening of a glass dipped in flour the way my mum taught me. Once you’ve cut out the scones, gently press together the leftover dough and cut again.
Place the scones close together on a baking tray, dust with flour and bake at 220°c for 10 minutes or until golden and cooked. Wrap the hot scones in a tea towel immediately to keep them soft and warm.
Can of cherries in syrup
1 orange, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and half the juice
Drain the cherries and combine with the zest and juice of the orange and lemon. Bring to the boil in a saucepan and simmer until the cherries reduce into a thick sauce. You can add sugar to adjust to your personal taste but I was in the mood for a citrusy tang rather than a sickly sweet jam. Place in the fridge to cool and the sauce will become thicker.
300ml of whipped cream topped with edible rose petals and lavender.
After many cups of tea, warm scones slathered with aromatic, fluffy cream and homemade cherry sauce, I continued with the therapeutic activity of dough making for our lunch.
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A handful of chopped coriander
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until it forms a dough. Add a little more water if the dough is too dry and add more flour if it becomes too sticky. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Separate the dough into golf ball sized portions and roll them out into thin discs. Cook on a hot pan without oil for a minute on each side or until they get dark brown patches. Keep warm under a tea towel.
1kg of chicken tenderloins
3 heaped teaspoons of paprika
2 heaped teaspoons of coriander powder
2 heaped teaspoons of garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup of natural yoghurt
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
1 handful of fresh coriander root
4 cloves of garlic
5cm piece of ginger
1 medium onion, diced
Place all the ingredients (except the chicken, mint and coriander) in the blender and pulse until combined. Toss the chicken in the marinade with the coriander and mint. You can do this the day before to let the flavours penetrate the juicy chicken but it still tastes amazing if you cook it straight away.
Cook the chicken under the grill until the marinade has thickened and begins to brown.
Chop up some cucumber into tiny cubes and toss it through thick natural yoghurt.
To serve, spoon some yoghurt onto a chapatti and top with chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices and fresh coriander. Wrap it up and and you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t tasted this earlier! You don’t need to host a ladies lunch to try this recipe. I could eat it everyday. Until the next post, that’s a wrap!