Beer-battered carrots

These lovely baby carrots were harvested fresh from Spier Wine Estate’s vegetable garden. You can also use baby asparagus, thin green beans or long-stemmed broccoli florets.

Serves: 6 as a starter Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes about 18 baby carrots (3 per person) oil for deep-frying

BEER BATTER

250ml self-raising flour

5ml baking powder

5ml black sea salt black pepper, to taste

1 bottle beer, ice cold

1 Sift the dry ingredients and then gradually beal in the beer to form a batter. Meanwhile, heat the oil for deep-frying.

2 Dip the carrots, one by one, in the batter and deep-fry them in batches until golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle extra sea salt over them and serve immediately with a tasty tomato and ginger salsa or your favourite sweet chilli sauce. Don’t let this delicious titbit stand too long before serving. TIP If you can’t get hold of baby carrots, slice normal carrots into thin strips — allow for about 4-6 strips per person. Wine recommendation A delicious sparkling wine will kick off the meal on a high note and complement the crispy carrots. Alternatively, select your favourite Chenin Blanc — it will also go well with the main course.

Spring salad with beetroot and avocado

Pick edible leaves and flowers from your herb garden to decorate this delicious spring salad. We used panties and marigold petals.

Serves: б as a side dish Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

125ml raspberry vinegar

250ml water

125ml sugar

1 star anise

6 medium beetroots, well scrubbed

1-2 ripe avocados

250ml peas, blanched

200g sugar snap peas, blanched handful of baby lettuce leaves pine nuts (optional)

1 Mix the vinegar, water, sugar and anise and bring to the boil. Add the beetroot and cook for about 20 minutes with the lid on until just soft. Allow to cool.

2 Make the salad Peel the avocados and cut into slices. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent it from discolouring. Quarter the cooked beetroot and arrange on the serving dish. Garnish with edible flowers — you could even pick a few pea shoots and use these. Sprinkle olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

Chicken sosaties

Fresh cherries add a delicious taste.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus marinating time Cooking time: 25 minutes

800g deboned chicken thighs, skinned and cubed

16 lemon leaves (optional) MARINADE

1 medium onion, chopped

1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped grated peel of 1 lemon

2 large green chillies

30ml tomato paste

5ml each ground cumin and coriander

SALSA

3 lemons

2 limes

80g flat-leaf parsley

100ml dried cranberries olive oil

1 Blend all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor. Coat the chicken cubes and marinade overnight. Thread the cubes onto sosatie sticks with the lemon leaves, season with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown and cooked through.

2 For the salsa Carefully remove the peel from the lemons and limes. With a sharp knife, cut them into segments. Place the segments In a bowl with any excess juice. Roughly chop the parsley and add this and the cranberries to the segments. Add 60ml olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken sosaties and couscous.

Moroccan phyllo tart with dates

This dessert is inspired by a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s book Jamie Does… It’s rich, sweet and delicious! Serve thin slices with thick Greek yoghurt or whipped cream.

Makes: 1 x 23cm tart

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

Oven temperature: 180°C

4 sheets phyllo pastry

30g butter, melted

FILLING

220g butter

200g icing sugar

2 extra large eggs

200g ground almonds

100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped

30ml flour grated peel of 1 orange

5ml ground cinnamon

5 fresh dates, pitted and chopped icing sugar for serving

1 Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, and beat well after each addition. Fold in the rest of the filling ingredients.

2 Place the four phyllo sheets next to each other lengthwise on a clean working surface. Divide the filling between the sheets and spoon in a straight line about 2cm from the bottom of the sheets. Brush the top of the pastry lightly with melted butter.

3 Roll the dough carefully from the bottom up over the top of the filling — not too tight. Coll this roll of filled dough to form a ‘snail’ and place this carefully on a greased spingform cake tin to keep the shape. Bake for 25 minutes n a preheated oven until golden brown. Sift ising-sugar over and serve hot or at room temperature with strong coffee or spiced tea.

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