Watermelon, Feta and Pistachio Salad
Serves 8, Prep: 20 mins
2.5kg piece seedless watermelon (about ¼ watermelon)
¼ cup finely chopped pistachio kernels
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
100g firm feta, crumbled
1 large lime
Cut watermelon crossways into 3cm thick slices. Remove and discard rind. Cut into 3cm cubes.
Combine pistachios, sunflower seeds and coriander in a small bowl.
Finely grate 2 teaspoons of rind from limes. Squeeze 2 tablespoons juice.
To serve, arrange watermelon in the shape of a wreath on a large serving board. Sprinkle with feta, then pistachio mixture. Drizzle with juice. Sprinkle over rind.
TIP Keep chopped watermelon in an airtight container in the fridge. Place pistachio mixture in a snap-lock bag. Assemble salad with the lime just before serving.
Christmas Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart
Serves 8, Prep and Cook: 35 mins
Cooking oil spray
380g 2-pack crusty baguettes (34cm long)
Olive oil cooking spray
125g piece brie cheese
2/3 cup cranberry sauce
150g sliced leg ham, off-the-bone
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella (200g)
Micro parsley, to garnish
Spray a 35cm round pizza tray with a perforated base with oil.
Trim ends from baguettes. Cut into 2cm slices. Place slices, cut-side up and side-by-side, on prepared tray. Spray with oil.
Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove. Stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut brie into ½cm wide slices. Cut each slice in half crossways.
Spread sauce over toasted bread. Top with brie then ham. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 15 minutes, or until golden and cheese is melted.
Serve garnished with micro parsley.
TIP Prepare pull-apart to the end of Step 4, up to one day ahead. Wrap toasted base in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature. Refrigerate brie, covered. Assemble pull-apart just before cooking. Ham can be replaced with cooked turkey or chicken, for a change.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Serves 8, Prep and Cook: 25 mins
500g box casarecce pasta
180g tub semi-dried tomatoes, marinated in Mediterranean herbs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 x 180g tubs marinated artichokes, drained, halved
¾ cup drained roasted red capsicum strips
¾ cup pitted, drained kalamata olives
60g bag baby rocket leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves (25g)
¾ cup grated parmesan
4 green spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
Cook pasta in a stockpot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well.
Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving ¼ cup of the oil in a small jug.
To make dressing, add juice and vinegar to reserved oil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk well.
Combine pasta with tomatoes, artichokes, capsicum and olives in a large bowl. Mix well.
Just before serving, add rocket, basil, parmesan, onions, pine nuts and dressing. Toss well.
TIP To cook pasta a day ahead, drizzle a little olive oil over cooked, cold rub. Run your hands through to coat pasta to prevent it from sticking. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Make dressing. Keep refrigerated. Prepare remaining ingredients and store separately. Assemble just before serving.
Mango and Raspberry Pavlovas
Serves 8, Prep and Cook: 1 hour, 40 mins
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 ½ cups (225g) Dark Choc Melts
600ml tub thickened cream, whipped
2 mangoes, thinly sliced
2 x 125g punnets fresh raspberries
3 cups frozen raspberries (350g)
¼ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Grease two large oven trays. Trace four x 10cm circles onto each of two large pieces of baking paper. Line prepared trays with baking paper, trace-side down.
Beat egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time, beating well after each addition until dissolved. Continue to beat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until thick and glossy. Beat in vinegar and cornflour.
Spoon meringue evenly into each circle on trays. Spread to edges.
Cook in a very slow oven (120C) for about 1 hour, or until dry and crisp. Turn oven off. Cool pavlovas in oven with door ajar for 1 hour. Remove.
Meanwhile, make raspberry coulis. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil, for about 6 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Strain over a bowl. Discard seeds. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.
Place chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted. Remove. Carefully spread over the base of each meringue. Return to trays, chocolate-side up. Stand until set.
To serve, place pavlovas, chocolate-side down, on a serving platter. Top with cream, mangoes and fresh raspberries. Drizzle with coulis, then serve with remaining.
TIP Unfilled pavlovas and coulis can be made up to two days ahead. Keep pavlovas in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and coulis in the fridge. Whip cream and assemble just before serving.
For more, grab a copy of New Idea’s – Bring A Plate this Christmas or head to newideafood.com.au.