Summer Wrap: Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad Recipe

Summer Wrap is a series of my highlights and favourites from summer. A collection of eating,drinking and dining that captures the sunny warm weather of a Perth summer to a T. To start the series off I have a recipe that I have made many times this past summer and one which can easily be adapted for the cooler months of the year as well!

Over the summer I finally had some time to attempt a salad recipe I had been wanting to try and make for a few months – A roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad with goats cheese. After a quick search on the internet I settled on a recipe from Seasons of the Sun. I had tried this salad on a few occasions over the past year and had enjoyed it each time.

Ingredients

500g Pumpkin, cut into small chunks
500g Beetroot, peeled and cut into small chunks
100g Goats Cheese
Handful Pine Nuts (toasted or fresh)
Fresh Spinach
Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed

*Note: I chose to omit the nuts and go for extra roasted veggies

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Method

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Place beetroot and pumpkin chunks on a roasting tray.
Cover in garlic and olive oil then roast in oven for 45 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.

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Place a handful of spinach on each plate and top with roasted vegetables.
Crumble a generous amount of goats cheese over along with toasted or fresh pine nuts.
Finish with a drizzle of olive oil over each plate.

Finished Product

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I love this  salad! I have made it since this time with a wider range of roasted vegetables (red onion and bell peppers are good additions). I also plan to add meat to the salad in the future should I want some protein in the dish.

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Lunch @ Tabella, Fremantle

A few months ago I went to Tabella in Fremantle with a friend as I was intrigued by their menu and curious to try a restaurant in Fremantle that I had not been to before.

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I chose to have a Arneis as it was a nice warm day so a wine with the description of ‘Nashi pear and pithy fruit with lime zest and minerals’ sounded perfect – and it was quite a delicious drop. I have heard many good things about the wine list at Tabella and this wine did not disappoint me.

Mains:

For our mains I ordered the salad which had roast pumpkin, beetroot, pine nuts, goats cheese and chicken. I really enjoyed this dish and would happily return for another serving. The gnocchi with slow cooked beef ragu’ was also an exceptional dish. I could not stop myself from stealing the gnocchi and beef from their plate as it was delightful and for such simple flavours so well executed! Both dishes were an absolute hit at Tabella.

Desert:

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Torta di Mele. ($11)

After we had finished our mains I decided to look over the desert menu and spied an apple crumble which is a weakness of mine. I was a little disappointed by this dish however after the exceptional standards of the mains. The crumble was overpowered by an orange liqueur flavour and was not enjoyable.

Overall I enjoyed my meal at Tabella. The service was friendly and I have since returned and enjoyed another meal with them. I will have to keep myself free for one of their Pasta and Wine nights that they hold every Tuesday, check out their Facebook page for more information.
Tabella on Urbanspoon

Melba, Melbourne

Hi Everyone,

My last night in Melbourne this month was spent having dinner at Melba Restaurant located in the Langham Hotel. The restaurant was buffet styled, however the food on offer ranged from seafood, to pasta prepared to order, roast station, Indian station, made to order sashimi station to a wide selection of cheeses, salads and cold meats. This link will take you to a sample menu for what could be offered for dinner in the buffet at Melba.

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Their selection of cheese’s reminded me of the cheese platter I had at Quarter on Hay in Perth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself with a sample of a small selection of these for a starter while I eyed off the different buffet stations and planned my dinner.

Selection of cheeses.

Selection of cheeses.

I started at the Roast Station where I had a selection of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, vegetables and a selection of sauces to accompany. The meat was cooked well and the selection available led me to grab a small piece of everything I could so I could try as much of what they had as my stomach would take.

Roasted meats station.

Roasted meats station.

There was a sashimi section where you could select from a range of fresh raw fish to have sushi made for you on the spot. I tend to avoid raw fish and so was a little disappointed I could not try any of the tantalising sushi, which I had seen at other tables in the restaurant.

Seafood.

Seafood.

While I was sampling from the roast station others dining with me had headed off to the Indian station for tandoori chicken, saffron rice and naan cooked to order.

After finishing our first plateful we discovered the pasta station where you saw your pasta being cooked in front of you with ingredients of your choice. I wish I had filmed the guy as he casually created a delicious masterpiece for me all the while conversing with me.

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After we had our fill of pasta we intended to get another plate of food however we wandered past the desert station and didn’t manage to make it any further. The variety of deserts available for selection made for a very tough decision, especially when a chocolate fountain was included – I was in desert heaven!

Deserts galore!

Deserts galore!

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

Selection of deserts from Melba plus cupcakes from Little Cupcakes.

For those who love their seafood then this restaurant is one to check out while you’re in Melbourne. There was also a selection of prawns, oysters, crabs, you name it included in the buffet. I’m not a big fan of shellfish and seafood in general so I passed on this selection however the presentation looked fantastic!

Last was the cocktails that we had over the night. While their wine menu had many interesting options I had a quick flick through the cocktail list and saw an Apple Crumbletini and was instantly sold. We also ordered their Strawberries and Cream cocktail and their Passionfruit Mojito. All three cocktails were delicious and a good way to end our time in Melbourne.

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Apple Crumbetini and Strawberries & Cream

Passionfruit Mojito.

Passionfruit Mojito.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meal and will have to return next time I am in Melbourne so that I can attempt to make it to every single station in the restaurant as well as getting the chance to try a few more of their cocktails which looked very tantalising on the menu. Service was also fantastic and the view over the Yarra River and Melbourne at the sun was setting made for a perfect and relaxing end to a quite hectic trip to Melbourne.

Until next time!

Melba Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Outback Jacks, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago I met up with a friend who was leaving the country for a few months for China to see a theatre show in Northbridge. We decided to grab dinner before the show and as it was one of her last nights in Perth I let he decide where and she choose somewhere to have her last western steak, leading us to grab a table at Outback Jacks.

I had the Beef Salad which consisted of medium rare beef strips over a salad of greens, carrot, green peppers, cucumber, tomato, noodles and finished with an asian styled sauce. I ordered this dish a little on a whim as it sounded a little hit-or-miss for me. Overall this dish was a hit with just the right amount of sauce, delicious beef strips and the noodles ended up tying the meal together. Personally more greens would have made it even better as the meat to salad ratio felt a somewhat biased to the meat, especially for a salad. I paired the salad with a glass of a Sauvignon Blanc off their wine list. The wine was nothing flash nor a name I recognised, it was an alright wine but nothing to rave about, hence leading to me having no recollection of it’s name.

Beef Salad.

Beef Salad.

My friend true to her word had a steak with chips and salad. It was thoroughly enjoyed and I hope it was enough to last her through until she returns back to Perth next year!

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While I am not usually a fan of big chunks of meat, I am more drawn to salads and carb-based meals I was impressed by my meal and would happily return if I ever was in the mood for a steak or even that salad again.

Until next time!

Outback Jacks on Urbanspoon

Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

With the overseas family in town over the weekend that just passed and we decided to take them to the Swan Valley so we could all explore it for the first time together. We only had a few hours in the Swan Valley and many of our visitors wanted to see the Woodbridge House so we ended up only going to two wineries and a nougat factory as my family has a long line of nougat lovers, and then ending our Swan Valley dash a quick late lunch at the restaurant by Woodbridge House.

1st Stop: Houghton’s.

Our first stop was at Houghton’s, as it is one of the most well known Swan Valley wineries and therefore one to show the international tourists. The grounds were spectacular and I will have to return in the future for a picnic there.

Wisdom Sparkling.

Wisdom Sparkling.

At Houghton’s they had a tasting flight of three white wines and three red wines for $3. In the flight we tasted:

Wisdom Pemberton Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay

2012 Wisdom Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Wisdom Pemberton Wooded Chardonnay

2010 175th Anniversary Limited Edition Red Blend

2010 Wisdom Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Franc

Red's from tasting flight at Houghton's.

Red’s from tasting flight at Houghton’s.

I didn’t mind the white wines beside’s the Chardonnay, for some reason it did not impress nor appeal to me. The red were quite nice, they showed potential but were still quite young.

I left Houghton’s with a hamper of wines from Moondah Brook as we were not allowed to sample their wines and their Rose looked quite tantalising – we ended up having the Rose with dinner that night and it was a great wine for the summer! A full review of the Rose will be in Sunday’s post.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

2nd Stop: Mondo Nougat.

We left Houghton’s and headed for Mondo for a quick stop here for some gelato and nougat for the rest of the day as well as a few pieces for them to take back home with them. The Nougat here is gluten and dairy free which is a big plus if you or any one you know who loves nougat has these alleges! Also in the shop was the cute Mini Cooper pictures below, not sure if I could drive something like this as it would continually make me hungry!

Mondo Mini Cooper.

Mondo Mini Cooper.

3rd Stop: Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines

We ended up deciding that the Olive Farm would be our last stop before lunch as we heard it had the Cheese Barrel next door and being greeks anything with ‘olive’ in the titled would gamer our attention! The driveway to the Cheese Barrel and the cellar door for Olive Farm Wines was straight through the middle of the vines and with the blue skies that we had this past weekend it was photo-op worth.

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel - wonderful driveway!

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel – wonderful driveway!

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

We didn’t stay too long at the Cheese Barrel but we did grab a few different cheeses of which I have had some and they were interesting, the European cheeses were a lot stronger than the Australian cheeses I have tried in the past. Definitely will be visiting this place again when I head up to the Swan valley as the wine barrel tables were adorable and the view from the elevated location of the cheese barrel over the back of the property made for a relaxing location for a cheesy Sunday lunch.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

After checking out the Cheese Barrel we walked over to the cellar door for the Olive Farm Winery and found the counter at the cellar door packed with people doing tastings – a good sign when you know nothing about the winery besides it being the first winery planted in the region.

At the cellar door I sampled:

Olivine Brut

2011 Dry Verdelho

2012 Chenin Blanc

2012 Viognier

2012 Rose (sweetish)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Grenache Shiraz

2007 Shiraz

Liqueur Muscat

Liqueur Verdelho

Stari (fortified)

My favourites from what I tasted was the dry Verdelho, Viognier, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Shiraz and all the Liqueurs were delightful also. I ended up leaving with a bottle of the Rose, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon and mum also bough a bottle of the Liquer Verdelho and we were recommended to try it over a quality vanilla ice-cream and this is something I am dying to try after hearing of it!

I will be back to try the rest of their wines for sure! And the two guys who were flat out at the counter of the cellar door were a delight to talk to and did a good job of looking after all the people who wanted to try their wines. Also the olives they had for tasting while they got back to you were delicious and well worth a visit just for their home-made marinade!

4th Stop: Woodbridge House and Riverside Restaurant

The portions were more than generous at the Riverside Restaurant. And the flavour combinations were interesting and in the case of the Spinach Salad they were delightful! The sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad that accompanied my Frittata was not the right dressing for my liking but other than that I could not fault the food. The service from both the owner and her staff at the restaurant was friendly and they went over and above what was needed to look after us even though we came in right at the end of their lunch service. I highly recommend the staff and food at Riverside!

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Tasting plate of the day.

Tasting plate of the day.

Spinach Salad.

Spinach Salad.

This was a wonderful introduction to the region and I will be back checking out the wineries over this summer for sure!

Until next time!