Grapefruit, beetroot and feta salad

Spring is upon us, and warmer weather calls for lighter meals and fresh flavours. Looking for inspiration? Charmaine Lilje, chef at Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, has put together a four-course meal packed with goodness. With in-season fruits, herbs and veggies, the flavour combinations in these tasty recipes are ideal for a lazy lunch in the sun, or a dinner party on a warm spring evening.

Grapefruit, beetroot and feta salad (table salad for 4 or a meal for 1)

Ingredients
• 80g fresh pre-cooked beetroot (peeled and quartered)
• 20g Kalamata olives
• 50g cubed Danish or full-fat feta
• 40g cherry tomatoes sliced in half
• 50g washed mixed salad leaves
• 50g grated raw carrot
• 40g sliced cucumber
• 20g chopped and cleaned spring onion
• 5g flaxseeds
• 25g thinly sliced red onion
• 50g grapefruit segments
• 2 hardboiled free-range eggs cut in half
• Served beautifully with an olive oil and balsamic dressing or with any salad dressing of your choice

Method
1. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl except the feta, beetroot and purple onion
2. Add the salad dressing and lightly toss
3. Turn the salad onto a platter
4. Top with the beetroot, then the feta and purple onion
5. Serve with toasted ciabatta

Asparagus and mozzarella tart

Asparagus and mozzarella tart (serves 4-6)

Ingredients
• 300g puff pastry butter based
• 150g asparagus tips cleaned
• 30ml sunflower oil
• 100g leeks sliced and cleaned
• 85g butter
• ½ tsp cake flour
• 300ml fresh milk
• 200ml fresh cream
• 1 tsp English mustard
• 2 whole eggs
• 4 egg yolks
• 100g grated mozzarella
• Salt and pepper

Method
1. Heat your convection oven to 180C
2. Grease your quiche tin est. 20-25cm in diameters
3. Press the puff pastry into the tin and bake blind for 20 minutes
4. Remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry no longer looks wet, set aside to cool
5. Separately preheat a frying pan and add the sunflower oil, flash fry the asparagus for about 1-2 minutes and set them aside to cool
6. Preheat a frying pan, add the butter and sauté the leeks until soft
7. In a mixing bowl add your flour, milk, cream, mustard and egg (whole and yolks). Beat until mixed well and add salt and pepper
8. Fill your puff pastry tart by adding the vegetables, mozzarella cheese and then your egg mix
9. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the tart has set
10. Serve with a side salad or fresh slices of tomato

Pea & mint soup

Pea & mint soup (served 6-8)

Ingredients
• 500g frozen green peas
• 150g potatoes peeled and diced into small cubes
• 100g onion, finely chopped
• 20g crushed garlic
• 3g mint
• 50g butter
• 850ml veg stock, water or chicken stock
• 10ml fresh lemon juice
• 150ml buttermilk
• 300ml fresh cream
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• Salt and pepper

Method
1. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter, sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic until soft
2. Add the potato cubes and stock, cook until potatoes are soft
3. Add the peas, lemon, mint, buttermilk, sugar
4. Cook for 5 minutes, and blend
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
6. Serve with toast or fresh bread of your choice
Grapefruit, beetroot and feta salad (table salad for 4 or a meal for 1)

Ingredients
• 80g fresh pre-cooked beetroot (peeled and quartered)
• 20g Kalamata olives
• 50g cubed Danish or full-fat feta
• 40g cherry tomatoes sliced in half
• 50g washed mixed salad leaves
• 50g grated raw carrot
• 40g sliced cucumber
• 20g chopped and cleaned spring onion
• 5g flaxseeds
• 25g thinly sliced red onion
• 50g grapefruit segments
• 2 hardboiled free-range eggs cut in half
• Served beautifully with an olive oil and balsamic dressing or with any salad dressing of your choice

Method
1. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl except the feta, beetroot and purple onion
2. Add the salad dressing and lightly toss
3. Turn the salad onto a platter
4. Top with the beetroot, then the feta and purple onion
5. Serve with toasted ciabatta

Plum and apple tart

Plum and apple tart (served 8-12)

Plum & apple mix ingredients
• 800g fresh plums, washed, halved and stone removed
• 800g fresh green apples, washed, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces each
• 150g butter, salted
• 1.5 cups brown sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup raisins

Ingredients sweet pastry mix
• 125g butter
• 125g castor sugar
• 1 egg
• 250g cake flour
• 20-50ml water
• 1 egg for egg wash (beat the egg and add 10ml water)

Plum mix method
1. Heat a medium sized pot over a medium heat
2. Add the butter, sugar and cinnamon and allow it to melt
3. Add the lemon juice
4. Add the plums and cook for a further 5 minutes
5. Add the apple and cook for 5-10 minutes
6. Add the raisins
7. Set aside to cook on a low-medium heat while you prepare the pastry

Pastry method
1. Preheat your oven to 180C
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add the egg and then the flour until the mix forms a dough. If you find the dough too dry add a little water until it comes together. Do not over mix the dough. Take it out of your mixing bowl and wrap in cling film, refrigerate until cold
4. Grease your baking pie dish, 20-25cm diameter and 5cm deep
5. Press ½ of the chilled pastry until the bottom of the baking dish and up the sides are evenly covered
6. Bake blind for 15-20 minutes
7. Brush egg wash into the pastry base while still hot

Assemble the tart
1. Pour the plum and apple mix into the cooked pastry base
2. Using a grater on the large hole, grate the remaining sweet pastry over the top of the fruit
3. Bake for a further 20-30 minutes at 180C until the pastry has turned golden
4. Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream

 

Meet the chef

Charmaine Lilje is chef and owner at Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, an upmarket farm stall and restaurant. The deli has a variety of homemade products available, like freshly baked breads and indulgent cheesecake. It also stocks locally grown fresh produce, as well as free range eggs and meat. If you have time to stay a while, you won’t be disappointed. The deli serves breakfast and lunches in a relaxed setting, and the menu boasts a range of healthy options. While the menu changes daily, you can expect omelettes, croissants, homemade granola, pressed juices and smoothies for breakfast, and options like homemade pies, freshly baked rolls, pastas and salads for lunch. With tables set under a big old oak tree, it’s the ideal spot for a post-jog breakfast or a long lunch with friends.

Find Chardonnay Deli at 87 Constantia Main Road. Visit chardonnaydeli.co.za for more information.