Angela Redfern does it again! The first cookbook from the owner of Ripe Deli in Auckland has been on my ‘favourites’ pile since it was published more than two years ago. Its seasonal collection of interesting everyday recipes still inspire me to dash out to Moore Wilson for the essential ingredient – chorizo, mozzarella, quinoa or quince – and now I’m making new shopping lists with Redfern’s new book, Ripe Recipes: a Fresh Batch.
The colourful up-close photography and whimsical line drawings of book number two are reassuringly familiar – the same team is behind both publications – but there’s new territory here too.
The recipes are no longer grouped according to season but by chapters that follow the internal workings and food categories of Ripe, the delicatessen. I’ve never stepped inside the store but I now know that Friday is Pie Day and once a month Ripe has a Mexican Day. I’m not sure if this is the best way to organise a cook book but once you get used to what’s where, the recipes themselves are fabulous.
They are eclectic in true deli style. A chapter headed Deli Dinners takes care of the take-home favourites such as osso bucco and shepherd’s pie; three recipes for cheesecake give the retro nod to a dessert of the 70s and there’s plenty of the Mexican and Middle Eastern inspired dishes that are currently trending.
Best of all are the salads. Ripe number one’s stunning collection was a hard act to follow but the Fresh Batch of salads is every bit as good as the last – colourful, crunchy, tasty and loaded with a healthy variety of grains. The emphasis is on nutrition with lots of tofu, sprouts, seaweed and so forth, but for me that’s of secondary importance. I’m guided by taste, texture and presentation; the rest will naturally follow. How could Fattoush Salad with Chicken, Pistachio and Pomegranate not be good for you?
Last night I made The Green Queen Salad. I gather it’s a deli favourite, which makes me sympathise with the kitchen hand whose job it is to carefully pull the leaves off the brussel sprouts that complete this arangement. I lost patience and tore at mine so they didn’t look great, but the green-on-green vege and buckwheat salad was otherwise magnificent (recipe follows). I served it with fresh snapper fillets fried in butter. It would go equally well with Ripe’s Cured Fennel Salmon.
The method for the salmon is unusual in that the fish is both cured and cooked. I’ve only ever done one or the other so I bought a side of salmon to test it out. I found it combined the best of both methods – my salmon had a sweetly glazed exterior with meltingly soft flesh beneath. I meant to follow instructions and use the leftovers for Salmon Hash Cakes – the picture looks very moorish – but when I went to the fridge, the salmon was gone. No leftovers. A sure sign of success in anyone’s book.
Ripe Recipes: A Fresh Batch, by Angela Redfern. Photography Sally Greer. Illustrations by Michelle Ineson. Beatnik Publishing RRP $59.99
THE GREEN QUEEN
This is a great salad by Gawain Cowley. It is bound to bring out the superhuman strength in all of us! A dear customer voted it the best salad she had ever had at Ripe.
Serves 6 to 8
1¼ cups (250g) BUCKWHEAT, reserve ¼ cup for toasting
2 cups (80g) KALE, finely sliced
2 cups (80g) BABY SPINACH
5 BRUSSEL SPROUTS, stem removed, leaves separated
200g GREEN BEANS, tops & tails removed, julienned
50g SNOW PEAS, thinly sliced
2 SPRING ONIONS, white and green parts, finely sliced
180g CRUNCHY BEAN SPROUT MIX
1 cup (250ml) GREEN QUEEN DRESSING (see pg 85)
SALT and freshly GROUND BLACK PEPPER
To prepare the buckwheat: place a medium saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add one cup of the buckwheat and boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat and strain. Set aside to cool.
In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, place the reserved buckwheat. Toast for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside in a
To prepare the salad: place a large saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil.
Add all the vegetables (except for the spring onions and crunchy bean sprouts) and blanch for 30 seconds. Strain, refresh under cold running water and drain well again.
In a large bowl, place the blanched salad greens, spring onions, crunchy bean sprouts and boiled buckwheat. Pour the dressing over the salad, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss well to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving dish and sprinkle with the toasted buckwheat.
GREEN QUEEN DRESSING
This dressing is packed full of goodness. We use it in the Green Queen Salad on page 81. This recipe makes a generous quantity. Add it to any salad that needs a good boost of flavour.
Makes 1¾ cups
1 whole bulb GARLIC
1½ cups (60g) BABY SPINACH, roughly chopped
½ cup (20g) FRESH BASIL LEAVES, roughly chopped
½ cup (20g) FRESH MINT, roughly chopped
½ cup (20g) FRESH CURLY PARSLEY, roughly chopped
JUICE of 1 LEMON
2 tbsp APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 tbsp soft BROWN SUGAR
1 cup (250ml) OLIVE OIL
1 tsp SALT
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Slice through the very top of the garlic bulb, exposing the cloves. Drizzle over one tablespoon of the olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes or until garlic is caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, squeeze the garlic from the bulb into a small bowl.
In a food processor bowl, place all of the dressing ingredients including the roasted garlic and process