Tag Archives: feta

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop

open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop


{freshstop is fresh}
Yesterday whilst filling up my car with fuel, I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to pop into the Caltex Freshstop. Well, wowzer was I surprised!

Yes, there were the usual selection of convenient fast foods and fabulous coffee to go – but there was a host of other fresh ingredients as well. Have you seen the amazing array of fresh fruits from watermelon, melons and apples? Then the fresh vegetables like my favourite baby tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and a selection of cheeses, yogurts and nuts too? How did I miss that?

{watermelon and tomato? yes!}
The watermelon and tomatoes reminded me that I had been toying with the idea of a tomato, watermelon combination for the last year but just never got my head around it. But recently, I read that Chef Gabriel Kreuther from the Modern in New York combined the two and the flavours were absolutely superb. So I decided there and then to whisk watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese and pistachios off the shelf and headed home to start experimenting.

{perfect summer dish}
I decided to make an open watermelon sandwich with roasted tomatoes topped with feta, pistachios and mint. The sweet and the savoury elements of this summery salad are just too divine. The ice cold sweet watermelon with the concentrated savoury flavour of tomatoes makes for a perfect combination and the pistachios and mint gives everything that extra taste and texture. It is fresh and interesting and would make a perfect starter for a summer meal or as a side salad to a braai.

So, this summer when you need fresh ingredients to perk-up your summer meals remember to pop into your closest Freshstop – no hassle and no fuss.

watermelon sandwich




open watermelon sandwich from #freshstop
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Other salad ingredients
  • 900g watermelon
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100g pistachios, shelled
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
  1. Roasted tomatoes - Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and let it cool down.
  2. Taste for seasoning. You will want to serve it with the watermelon at room temperature.
  3. To assemble - Place a slice of watermelon on a plate as the base of your dish and add a few tomatoes on top. Crumble some feta over the dish, top with pistachios and finish with a few mint leaves – sprinkle with a few drops of the balsamic-tomato juices.

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

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Lesson #1 Alain Passard – Elevate vegetables to the main course. Respect them. Love them.

Cabbage Greek Salad … Just recently, I was fortunate enough to meet and eat at a Parisian restaurant owned and run by one of the best chefs on the planet – and one of my great food heroes. The place was L’Arpege + 3-Star Michelin Restaurant and the chef was none other than Alain Passard!

Having lunch at one of the top restaurants in the world turned out to be a very emotional day for me as we made our way through 13 courses of what can only be described as an expedition to some sort of culinary Nirvana. This was not a sampling menu, it was 13 courses of considerable portion of food.

In order to give fair justice to the skill and care that was taken in serving each course, I intend discussing (or is it dissecting?) various elements of this extraordinary experience over the next few weeks. The sum of which continues to jolt my brain and senses in the most wonderful of ways. More of that later but back to Alain…My hubby and I sat down just on midday and only left the restaurant four and half hours later. It turned out to be not just a meal but more a journey enticing discoveries. It was an explosion of the senses on all fronts from tantalizing the palate, to engaging the brain, to touching my heart. It was all of these things.

Then out of nowhere and so very casually, Alain Passard himself appeared in front of us… and so charmingly and non-chalantly introduced himself. He stood humbly before us wanting to know where we were from and then thanked us for making the effort to eat at his restaurant. Could you believe he thanked me!! I was speechless. He said that if I wanted to know anything, I must just ask him. He was most amused by my little black notebook. It is that little notebook that I take everywhere with me jotting down my thoughts and different food experiences. Alain then just said the following “eat slowly and enjoy every bite, try to stay till dessert because I have a surprise for you” and before you could offer a shy stammer of awe and appreciation he whisked himself back into his kitchen. *more about the surprise and what he meant in a later blog*.


In between the courses that followed he came out to serve us … how amazing was that!! I was in dreamland and I think for the first time in my life, I was beyond speechless. What I took away from this restaurant and this genius of a chef was that you need to live and practice the credo of this talented food maestro….remember to elevate vegetables to the main course – it is not a side dish – respect them and cook them with love.

Ok, I got a little carried away by my recollections of this exceptional outing, back to dish at hand…..
Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble purple cabbage and added it to make a greek salad the way my dear and wonderful Mediterranean friend Thea Maroela taught me. Thea is +- 79 years old now and lives in Cyprus. Thea always made this particular Greek salad with white cabbage and I used to often eat this salad at Thea’s house with fresh bread and a tumbler of white wine – which Thea always kept in a bottle under the sink for me as she herself did not drink. This dish is a “must make”. It’s fresh, inspiring and delicious.

Note to self: Add to bucketlist – Visit Thea in Cyprus again. Book table and eat again at any restaurant owned by Alain Passard.

This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection
Prep time
Total time
  • Note
  • This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.
  • Ingredients
  • Red cabbage – finely sliced
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing
  • Good Olive oil
  • White vinegar
  • Salt + black pepper
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Pour generously with olive oil and then some vinegar, add the salt and pepper and mix well in a bowl before you dish it up.
  3. Serve with fresh bread.