Finger Food

Shishitos are weird little wrinkly peppers that are mostly sweet, but apparently throw out a hot one every now and then. It’s like a chili lucky dip! Except that I’ve never eaten one that was hot, so I’m starting to think that’s a myth.

You can throw them into a salad, if you want, but the best way to eat them is as a salty snack with a beer (or something). They’re a bit fiddly and meh if you try to use them like capsicum in a salad, but they really shine if you chuck them on the barbeque or skillet for a few minutes and eat them whole, seeds and all.

They’re so quick to prepare as a snack, you’ll be eating them in the time it takes you to assemble a cheese platter. If you haven’t come across shishitos before, make sure you give this recipe a go.

If you want the chili kick, throw some chili flakes into the bowl before you put them on the skillet.

Shishito snacks

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • rock salt to taste
  • 1 bag shishitos


  1. Preheat a skillet or BBQ grill on a high heat.
  2. In a bowl, add the shishitos to the oil and salt and coat well.
  3. Place the shishitos in a single layer on the skillet or grill and cook quickly until the skins begin to blister, around 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the shishitos moving so they cook and blister evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with a little more salt when you serve them. Optionally add some yoghurt on the side for dipping, sprinkled with paprika.
21 February, 2019 0 comment
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I almost always have a half-used packet of puff pastry in my freezer, but now that I’ve tried these curry puffs, I’ve added another dish to my arsenal for using up pastry.

I thought curry puffs were complicated. Ha! How wrong I was. Kat whipped these up in a jiffy. A great tip is to boil the potatoes in advance and let them cool and dry out. It will keep the moisture to a minimum and give you crispy pastry. It also means making the puffs themselves takes a fraction of the time.

The spice load in this recipe is pretty conservative. Feel free to throw more in, if that’s what floats your boat. You could also use pretty much whatever veggies you have at hand.

This is another great idea to cook in advance, then keep handy in the fridge or freezer for lunches, light meals or picnics.

Curry puffs

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Serves: 16 pieces Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500gm potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1cm pieces
  • 3-4 chard or silverbeet leaves, stems removed and shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cucumber finely diced
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder


  1. Boil the potato pieces until almost completely cooked. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion, potato and carrot for a few minutes until all the ingredients start to soften. Add the chard, salt and curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. Heat the oven to 190ºC. Cut the pastry sheets into quarters and place a large spoon of the filling in the centre of each.
  4. Brush the pastry edges with egg and fold into triangular parcels, pushing the filling into the corners and crimping the edges with a fork. Brush the top of each triangular pastry with more beaten egg and place on a lined baking tray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve with a little of the cucumber raita.

For the raita:

  1. Combine the yoghurt, cucumber and cumin and add salt to taste.
24 January, 2019 0 comment
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These spring rolls are the first spring rolls Kat has ever made and they were a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Look how perfectly she fried them!!

Sometimes we avoid cooking certain things because we think they’re beyond us, but I watched Kat make these and thought “hmmmm, I reckon I could do that”.

Funny how all it takes to get over a hurdle is to just see if you can jump it.

Having eaten this dish, I’m already thinking about what other variations I can make. You can put all sorts of different veggies in these things. But whatever you do, make sure you use an oil that’s recommended for high temperatures and make sure it’s hot when you put those babies in.

This is another really good idea for kids. They love anything fried, amiright? And guaranteed, these will go down better than the slightly soggy spring rolls you get from the take away. Just watch out when you bite into them! No traumatising mouth scalding, please.

Spring rolls

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Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 4 cabbage leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100g vermicelli noodles
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 12 sheets spring roll pastry
  • Small quantity of water mixed with a little cornstarch
  • Peanut or rice bran oil for frying


  1. Defrost 12 sheets of spring roll pastry under a damp tea towel so the edges don’t dry out.
  2. Soak the noodles in boiling water for 10 mins. Drain and use scissors to cut into smaller lengths.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in wok and add the carrot, cabbage, onion, garlic, noodles and tamari. Cook for about 5 mins or until vegetables are soft.

To wrap the spring rolls:

  1. Place a sheet like diamond on a clean surface and place 2 tablespoons of filling in the nearest corner.
  2. Start to tightly roll the wrapper, fold over left side, then fold over right side. Paint a little of the cornstarch mixture along the edge and close it up.

When all the vegetable mixture is used up:

  1. Heat the peanut or rice bran oil in wok to high temperature. You’ll need enough oil to almost cover the spring rolls.
  2. Cook the spring rolls in batches, turning to ensure both sides are golden brown.
  3. Place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to drain excess oil.
  4. Serve hot and crispy with your favourite Asian dipping sauce.
6 December, 2018 0 comment
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Spring and leafy veg. Sometimes it feels like spring is leafy veg. There sure is a lot of it, just as in summer, there’s a lot of fruiting veg. It is what it is, so that’s what we eat.

Luckily, we have some talented market gardeners who can bring other crops to harvest earlier than we can, so we’re not stuck with just greens, but it can be a challenge to keep up the variety in our meals at this time of year.

Enter: vegetable muffins!! Another genius Kat idea that I would never have come up with.

These are a brilliant (and delicious!) way to use up more vegetables for lunch or a snack. Great to have ready to grab for work or school.

I’m starting to sound like a morning television show cooking segment. God forbid.

Vegetable & goat's cheese muffins

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Serves: 12 muffins Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 40g parmesan, finely grated
  • 70g cheddar, finely grated
  • 3-4 chard leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and finely grated
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 150g goat's cheese
  • handful each of sesame and pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Pour milk and oil into a mixing bowl. Crack in the eggs and whisk together.
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then the cheddar and parmesan, then the vegetables.
  4. Season to taste with salt (optional).
  5. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases (using greaseproof paper cases is a good idea), then half fill them with the muffin batter.
  6. Crumble the goat’s cheese onto each muffin, then spoon the remaining batter on top. Make sure the goat’s cheese is completely covered.
  7. Sprinkle with the sesame and pumpkin seeds.
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (check by piercing with a skewer after 20 minutes) until golden. After removing from the oven, let the muffins rest in the tray for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. They’re good to eat warm or cold.



If you think the batter looks a bit too stiff, mix in a little more milk in very small increments until it has the consistency you think it should be before you fill the paper cases.

22 November, 2018 0 comment
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When you ask growers what they’ve got available to supply the LocalTable boxes, sometimes you get an interesting suggestion, like tomatillos.

I’m guessing not many Aussies have had a tomatillo or even heard of them. I’ve heard of them, but never eaten them. This is my first foray, with a recipe from the grower, Sasha Ermichina. I’ve cut back the vinegar content, as it ended up pretty runny and I didn’t add any other liquid. Other than that, it tasted great!

Tomatillo salsa

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Serves: 1 bowl Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 500gm tomatillos, husked and washed in warm water to remove the sticky coating
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove (or more!), peeled
  • 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • some chilli any way you like it (optional)
  • juice of half a lime, or more if not very juicy


  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. In a baking dish, roast whole tomatillos, onion, garlic and chilli until soft and with a bit of colour, about half an hour.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan along with all the juice in the baking dish. Add the vinegar, lime juice, oregano and coriander and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Let it cool, then transfer to a blender (or use a stick blender in the cooled saucepan)  and purée. Add a little water if you want a runnier consistency and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with corn chips or anything that will carry the salsa from the bowl to your mouth.

28 January, 2018 0 comment
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More adventures with eggplant!

Tim and Tobie of Queen Street Growers make a fabulous baba ganoush with their eggplants, which they sell at the SAGE Farmers Market. It seemed pretty logical to me to ask them to share their recipe with LocalTable.

So here it is and it ticks my favourite box: easy-as.

Cooking time is a total guess. Just use your judgement.

Baba ganoush

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Serves: 1 small bowl Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 whole eggplants
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100ml tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Chargrill the whole eggplants on a BBQ or griddle, turning occasionally until really well cooked. The insides need to be super soft. Everything hinges on the eggplants being really well cooked.
  2. Add all the other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Scrape out the eggplant flesh, which should be super soft and gooey, and blend with the other ingredients until nicely mixed.
  4. Serve on a platter with crudités and crackers.


If you don't have a BBQ or griddle, then roast the whole eggplants (180 degrees should do it), but just make sure they're well and truely cooked through.

25 January, 2018 0 comment
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One of the LocalTable subscribers, Susan (we have a few Susans), once mentioned that she wasn’t a big shallot eater, but when faced with more shallots than she knew what to do with, she consulted the great Google oracle and made spring onion jam. Nice one!

When I ended up including a big load of red onions in the boxes last week, I remembered Susan’s idea and thought I’d give it a go with red onions. My first attempt ended with red onion toffee, but my second attempt was a winner! Super duper yummy with a stinky, hard cheese I bought at the SAGE Farmers Market on Tuesday.

Who knew a jam made with onions could be so good? And it also meets one of my key recipe criteria: it’s easy-as (as long as you don’t over cook it).

Red onion jam

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Serves: 1 small jar Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 generous blobs of butter
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (get the real stuff, it's worth it)


  1. Gently heat your favourite frying pan.
  2. Once it’s at temperature, throw in the butter. It should quietly sizzle and not smoke or go brown. If it does, turn it down, clean the pan and start again! Don’t burn the butter!
  3. Chuck the onion in the melted butter and gently sautée until it’s very soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sugar and cook over a low heat for about another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Tip in the vinegar and cook for about another 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool a bit.
  7. Spoon the onions into a jar or dish, then pour as much of the liquid in as you like. It will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry about it being runny. You might not want to use all of the liquid.
  8. Let the jam cool to add to a cheese platter, or serve slightly warm to top meat dishes.

19 January, 2018 0 comment
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I would usually prefer to post a recipe that is more for a meal than fingerfood, but I needed to bring a plate of something to a New Year’s Eve party and I wanted to use the parsnips from this week’s box, so this is what I dug up.

Actually very tasty! I think you could easily make these patties more meal-size than snack-size and enjoy them with a fresh salad.

Chicken & parsnip patties

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Serves: 24 mini serves Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 parsnips (or 1 if they're big), chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach/silverbeet/chard, trimmed
  • 250gm chicken mince
  • 4 spring onions, thinly slicked
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • some polenta for coating patties
  • oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup horseradish cream (more if you like)


  1. Boil the chopped parsnip in a saucepan until it’s very tender. Drain, then mash until it’s very smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the parsnip is cooking, boil the kettle.
  3. Put the spinach in a large pot or bowl. After the kettle boils, pour the hot water over the spinach. Give it a bit of a swoosh around until the leaves are wilted and take on a rich colour. This should only take a couple of minutes, max. Strain the spinach and rinse in cold water. Let it drain.
  4. Squeeze as much water as possible out of handfuls of spinach and chop finely.
  5. In a bowl, mix the parsnip, spinach, chicken, spring onion, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.
  6. Shape into bite-size patties (approx 24), pressing firmly together. Put the polenta on a flat plate and lightly coat the patties. Shake off any excess polenta.
  7. Gently heat the oil in your favourite frying pan to a medium-high heat (not too hot!). Add the patties to the pan in batches to cook, around 4-5 minutes each side, or until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  8. Combine the sour cream and horseradish cream in a bowl. Serve either with a dollop of the sour cream mixture on top, or with a bowl on the side for dipping.


Make your own breadcumbs, they're so much better! Grab the old bits of bread no one wants to eat, chuck them in the toaster or a low oven for a bit, let them cool, then give them a whiz in a blender or food processor. They're chunkier and tastier than what you buy at the supermarket.


Get creative with the sour cream mixture. I used horseradish cream because that's what I had in the fridge. Try a mild mustard, or blue cheese...try anything!

1 January, 2018 0 comment
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