Aye Carumba, February and March were huge. Mega-huge. So while I'm getting my blogging brain switched back on, here's a collection of marvellous things:
We went away for a few days and I read this, and this, and this. Currently reading this and this. But secretly pining for some good popular science/environmental/investigative journalism non-fiction. Recommendations welcome.
Blessed now to be teaching at this beautiful studio in Woollongabba.
The best gluten-free bread ever, ok?
This book is changing my life. Seriously.
On today's recipe: these are super tasty. The dressing especially (which you should pour into the summer roll after chomping off one end). If you feel the need to add a source of protein (tofu/tempeh/egg) go for it, but these were plenty filling for a light lunch.
Hopefully be back later in the week with a birthday treat. Holy moly, YES.
SESAME PUMPKIN SUMMER ROLLSmakes 14 or so
The key to success at the summer-rolls caper is organisation: make sure you've got everything prepared in advance and set up ready to go. My favourite way to make summer rolls is with sliced cabbage or zucchini noodles. Because, call me crazy, but wrapping one rice product in another is a little weird to me. ALSO: don't let the list of ingredients or my essay on how to make these put you off, really it's easy, and it's more about getting in there and feeling your way through it than following instructions precisely.1/4 large (800 g) japanese pumpkin
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame seeds + extra, toasted
2 tbsp tamari
pinch dried chilli flakes
1 tsp dried ginger
2 tbsp coconut oil
quick pickle onions (below)
lime and sesame dressing (below)
2 avocadoes, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/4 large wombok cabbage, finely shredded
small handful of spring onions, thinly sliced
fresh coriander/mint leaves
a few handful baby spinach leaves
lime wedges, to serve
1 packet rice paper rolls
Prepare the quick pickle onions and dressing and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 200C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Deseed your pumpkin and slice into 0.5 cm (1/4 inch) slices, trimming so that they're all roughly the same oblong-ish dimensions and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine tahini, maple, sesame seeds, tamari, chilli, ginger and oil. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add sesame marinade to the pumpkin and toss to coat. Roast the pumpkin in a single layer for 30 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
While the pumpkin is roasting, get your rolling station set up. Combine the wombok and spring onions in a bowl. Have the toasted sesame seeds, sliced avocado, herbs, pickle onions and rice papers all in one spot. Fill a large, shallow dish with room temperature water, and place a damp tea towel down for rolling on. Check out this photo for my set up.
To make the summer rolls, quickly dip a rice paper into the water for a few seconds, then lay it on the damp tea towel. Start with a sprinkle of sesame seeds in the middle, then layer avocado, pumpkin, cabbage, herbs and onions. Most packets will have a diagram on the back of how to roll them up. But just in case you've missed out: roll the bottom up to tuck the filling in, then fold in the sides and roll up to seal. Accept that your first few will look completely mangled, take a sip of wine, and keep rolling.
As you keep rolling, keep the rolls from sticking to each other by separating them with baby spinach leaves. Once you're done with rolling, sprinkle any remaining sesame seeds on top. If you're not chowing down straight away, they can be refrigerated with some damp paper towel to cover them and keep them moist. Best eaten same day or the next. Serve with lime wedges, lime-sesame dressing (below) and a high five.
QUICK PICKLE ONIONSmakes 1 cup
1/2 large red onion, super thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup white vinegar
zest of 1 lime
big pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour before using. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 1 week.
LIME+SESAME DRESSINGmakes 1/4 cup
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
Whisk all ingredients together. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days.