Pine Nut Dressing

summer salad

13th September 2009


“This salad is good!  You could share this with the world!” my son announced over dinner the other night. So, how could I not share it with you?

This is a salad that I serve with every meal, taking advantage of all of summer’s beautiful, bright colours.  I love to add purple basil, small leaves of the rainbow chard, deep green mint leaves – whatever catches my eye in the garden.  Sometimes I saute green beans with the zucchini or grate the raw zucchini into strips instead of cooking.  Another wonderful addition is pumpkin or sweet potato chopped in small cubes, lightly sprinkled with ground cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, then roasted on a baking tray until the pumpkin is tender, and added to the salad.


summer salad


3 cups garden greens and edible flowers (lettuce, baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, beetroot leaves, basil, mint, parsley, coriander)

1 carrot, shaved with a potato peeler

1 cucumber, chopped

½ cup sprouts (see how-to sprout own)

4 small garden zucchinis, halved & quartered lengthwise


cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp honey (add a little hot water to make it more liquid)

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 Tbsp olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt and pepper


1.  In a very hot skillet, drizzle a little oil/ghee and add the halved zucchini; cook until a little charred on all sides. Put aside to cool.

2.  Wash, spin and dry the green salad leaves; shave the carrot into long strips, slice the cucumber, add the sprouts and cooled zucchini in a large salad bowl.

3.  Lightly dry toast the pine nuts until lightly golden.  Put aside 2 tablespoons and roughly chop.

4.  Place the rest of the pine nuts with the remaining dressing ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute, scraping the sides as needed.

5.  Drizzle over the salad, lightly toss, sprinkle with the reserved chopped pine nuts and serve.

Shared goodness from Stacey

roasted cherry tomato

16th June 2009


After last season’s disastrous tomato crop, this year I went overboard with my seed plantings.  And, of course, they all thrived, so I now have enormous crops of cherry and Roma cherry tomatoes. I have been going out each morning, patiently watching the bunches turn from apple-green, orange and finally to that deep, dark red that lets us all know there is true flavour inside. Thankfully the little treasures have not all chosen to ripen at once, so I have been able to pluck off the odd handful.



Today’s picking was impressive, so after passing off some to my in-laws, a bunch was the highlight of this dish.  Roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini, chiogga beetroot, fennel, sweet potato, roasted with fresh garden herbs and fetta, finished off with a basil and pine nut dressing. Pumpkin would have been better instead of the sweet potato, but I used mostly what came from the garden, with exception of sweet potato. Roasting the tomatoes brings out a stronger, intense flavour, and being so small they don’t smother the other vegetables.


roasted cherry tomatoes & vegetable assortment with a basil & pine nut dressing

The amounts I have approximated, as I usually just throw in a handful/pinch/dash, so it is never quite the same each time. I always use a good extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil for my roasting and dressings. For this recipe, I used 1 zucchini, 1 sm. sweet potato, ¼ beetroot, ¼ fennel bulb – enough for 1 – 2.


Approx. 12 whole cherry tomatoes

Assorted vegetables, in chunks (zucchini, pumpkin, fennel, beetroot, sweet potato, whatever on hand)

Handful of whole fresh herbs (I used 5 sage leaves, 3 sprigs thyme and 2 sprigs rosemary)

generous splash of olive oil

Maldon or similar sea salt

100g feta, cubed


1.  Preheat oven to 200C.

2.  Toss all vegetables in one layer in an ovenproof dish with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and add herbs.

3.  Bake for 30 – 40 min., stirring occasionally. Halfway through, add feta. Cook when veggies are tender and tomatoes are flattened.  If the bottom of dish begins to char, that’s fine.

4.  Serve with 2 – 3 tsp. of dressing drizzled over.  Sprinkle extra torn/whole basil leaves.

basil & pine nut dressing

1.  Toast approx. 2 tsp pine nuts in a small pan.

2.  Smash lightly in mortar and pestle with 5 torn basil leaves.

3.  Whisk in 1 tab. extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp honey (mixed with a little hot water ).  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Shared goodness from Donna

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