Tag Archives: gorgonzola

Sun-drenched fig and zucchini salad

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I have been flirting with thoughts of other jobs, other countries. The big wide world, new faces, a different smell in the air. Maybe that travel bug rearing its head again.

These thoughts – idle fancies, what you will – are unsettling yet exciting. Unexpectedly they have also prompted me to look at my street, city, country with fresh eyes.

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Like the layers of light on a humid summer’s beach. So bright, impossibly bright, up close. Shimmering-pale-lilac-blue in the distance, the colours muted as though coming through a fog.

Cliched as it might be, this made me think of Dorothy Mackellar’s iconic poem as she describes –

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –

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Wilful, with our legends of outlaws, and 146km of dead straight road across the Nullabor. Lavish, with super-abundant light, and summer’s fresh produce that seem to be ripening by the minute: berries, peaches, watermelons, figs, mangos, papayas, zucchinis, beetroot, okra.

During these hot, humid, languid days, summer fruit and veges can make the simplest snacks or meals. Like mangoes with a squeeze of lime and a splash of hot sauce; cucumbers with salt-smashed garlic, experiments with watermelon curry, Vietnamese pickled daikons.

Like this fig and zucchini salad.

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Jazzin’ it up: blue cheese pesto

It seems time passes more and more quickly every year.

Australia is traditionally known for its long summer holiday, and I still remember a time when the summer months were leisurely, humid, and never seemed to end. But this year, we are still working overtime in the week before Christmas and are already lining up meetings in January (haven’t people heard about the Mayan calendar?). When I got home on Friday, I wanted something quick that will be on the dinner table in 20 minutes flat.

20121216181423-630Enter blue cheese pesto.

Home made pesto is always more flavoursome than store bought. But, a bit of blue cheese can make the pesto that much more exciting when the parmesan cheese in our fridge is a bit ‘meh’ (and maybe not actually from Emilia-Romagna….).

Blue cheese, such as gorgonzola dolce, adds a lingering tangy depth of taste, and surprises the diner every time – in a good way of course.

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