With the past week of severe heat waves here in the Cape, I was struggling to find inspiration from any kind of food stuff that would snap me out of my Christ the Redeemer pose in front of the fan, and into a Nigella-esque one over the stove – especially with my kitchen hitting a high of 42.5•C on Wednesday.
It was whilst sucking back on a defenseless ice cube, that it hit me – I wanted a Granita. This delicious slushy type drink, albeit a more elegant one, is rarely found on menu’s in South Africa for some bizarre reason. The most refreshing flavor I could think of pairing with the slushed ice had to be watermelon, because truthfully nothing beats it’s sweet smack, complimented with the herby freshness of basil. I added a bit of chili for fun, and it actually worked really well – despite personally not being the biggest heat seeker when it comes to chili in food. Topped up with a splash of lemonade (and some white rum or vodka, if you are in the mood), it makes the perfect sundowner for guests, or an anytime slushy snack for when you need cooling down.
Tip: I froze mine in a non-stick metal loaf tin – and every hour or so, scratched the surface of the granita with a fork to fluff it up and create the desired texture.
Not one for being a ritual celebrator of Valentines’ Day, I generally prefer to stay home – open a good bottle of something and eat some equally good food. This trumps being at the mercy of restaurants on this Hallmark Holiday that mostly just capitalize on set menus filled with chocolate fondants and ‘complimentary’ below average bubbles.
So without further ado, this is what I have planned for Friday’s evening in… Roasted Butternut, Leek & Feta Quiche, with a Nectarine & Chavroux Salad. Chavroux is a type of really creamy, soft Goats cheese – it’s amazing, and I only use it on special occasions. You can find it at Woolies in a little conical shaped container – don’t look at the price, just buy it and trust me on it’s incredible flavour and the knowledge that a little goes a long way.
I can’t not mention my favourite wine at the moment, being La Motte’s Pierneef Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – made from organic grapes, it is a beautiful choice to pair with anything summery and creamy. So…Happy V-day in advance, everyone!
With age comes maturity (for the most part), and if there is one thing I’ve learned when it comes to buying produce, it is to buy fruit that is in season. This only really dawned on me in the past year or so, as in times gone by, I would see a pack of prepared watermelon slices, think, “ooh yes watermelon”, and then after languidly devouring the tub, rue the purchase when I spy the extortionate price sticker as the tub goes into the trash. This is now a thing of the past, and if I have to sit and plough my way through an entire watermelon, I will.