Nectarine salad with a lovely pear and rosemary dressing at Somersetgift Farm Getaway…. part of 3 of 3

I found the dressing recipe of this salad in BABEL… a visually beautiful cookbook with the most amasing dressing recipes… and to be honest I cannot really remember how I matched the nectarines with the pecorino and the dressing, it must have been from Pinterest visuals… but IT WORKS…

Start off by making the dressing.. it can be made in advance and will keep for up to a week or more if refrigerated..


Click on THIS link for the printable recipe card: 32. Nectarine and Pecorino salad with Rosemary and Pear Dressing ……. RECIPE CARD

For the Dressing…

Make in advance or early in the morning … it needs to cool down.
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Simmer 2 peeled and cubed pears with a sprig of rosemary and 125ml white balsamic vinegar until the pears are soft.

Let it cool … remove the rosemary and liquidize… slowly add the juice of half a lemon, 125ml olive oil, 10 ml honey and 1 teaspoon smooth English mustard.

Early morning  cuddles...

Early morning cuddles…

Just by the way… think I should book Somersetgift Farm Getaway for another long weekend… such a beautiful complete relaxation spot…

Now for the salad..

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Blanch the baby broccoli and mange tout… very important to instantly cool it under running cold water once done to retain the bright green colour.

Layer the baby salad leaves on a flat serving platter, top with baby broccoli, mange tout and just before serving add the avo slices, and nectarines. Pour over the dressing and add a hand full of finely grated Pecorino cheese.

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This dressing is like a meal on it’s own, I can only imagine a platter of sliced avo, topped with dressing and some grated pecorino … if the nectarines are out of season.

Lunch was a laid back family affair…. memories in the making…

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And after lunch… time to explore the farm…

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Lunch at Somersetgift Farm Getaway…. magic moments..

Spinach and ricotta bake at Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… Part 2 of 3

As part of our Somerset Gift Farm lunch we made this delicious spinach and ricotta filo bake… something light and different that will compliment any lunch menu.

Click here for: 31. Spinach and ricotta filo bake……. RECIPE CARD

For the Spinach and Ricotta bake you will need:

350g ricotta
350g spinach
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan
200g feta
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
1 XL Egg or 2 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 roll filo sheets
2 cloves crushed garlic
melted butter for brushing the sheets

Place the ricotta and cooked drained spinach in a bowl and combine, add the finely grated parmesan and crumbed feta, mix in the egg, lemon rind and salt and pepper.

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Melt the butter and add the 2 crushed cloves of garlic and brush each sheet with the butter before layering the pans.

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Line a medium size tin or 2 smaller tins with buttered filo sheets, 3 x horizontal and 3 vertical, I cut the sheets with a scissor to “just” fit the pan. Measure the sheets long enough to have a overhang on both sides that is wide enough to form the top of the bake once the pan is filled.


Fill the filo lined tins with the ricotta and spinach mixture and flip over the filo overhang to form a neat parcel. Bake at 180 degrees until nicely browned and cooked. +/- 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack covered with grease proof paper and cool.


This ricotta and spinach loaf can be served luke warm or at room temperature, I would not refrigerate it before serving….


We sliced the loaf in +/- 2 cm slices and served it with our free range chicken pesto sosaties, baby potatoes and a delicious nectarine salad (to follow in part 3).


And after lunch…time for some rest and relaxation…

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Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… a magical place to re-charge our batteries…

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Pesto chicken kebabs at Somerset Gift Farm Getaway….. part 1 of 3

Welcome to 2015 and the first of loads of new posts after my year of gathering new recipes and visiting beautiful places.

Let’s kick this year off with a 4 part post of Somerset Gift Farm Getaway… 16 km’s outside Swellendam on the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. We booked Fish Eagle Lodge, which comes with 3 large on-suite bedrooms, a lovely open plan living / dining area and a near wrap-around covered veranda with outside braai. The house looks onto the towering Langeberg Mountain range that looks so close, that it feels as if it flips over your head.


Late afternoon view from the "stoep"...

Late afternoon view from the “stoep”…

We usually arrive late afternoon just in time to see “the light”… for a couple of seconds before the sun sets, it flouds the little valley and then complete darkness sets in…

Fish Eagle Lodge at night....

Fish Eagle Lodge at night….

Over the next 3 posts I will post our lunch menu recipes… it was a big family morning prepping and having fun … with me and my mom cooking, the kids fishing buckets full of small fish in the pond in front of the house and Liezel creating the most amasing crochet blanket…. happiness  ….




For the Pesto Chicken Kebabs you will need:
RECIPE CARD > click on this link30. Pesto chicken thigh fillet sosaties……. RECIPE CARD
2 deboned thigh fillets (Elgin Free Range of course) per kebab (chicken breast fillets can also be used but the thigh fillets are more tender)
3 small rosa tomatoes per kebab
Basil pesto, enough to “wet” the chicken pieces
Kebab sticks
Salt and Pepper


Cut each thigh fillet in 2 and marinade the cut chicken pieces for at least 2 hours in the Basil Pesto in a fridge.IMG_6431

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen...

Ouma Babsie giving a helping hand in the kitchen…

Soak the skewers in water while the chicken marinades and skewer the kebabs alternating between the chicken pieces and rosa tomatoes. Jip this is a bit of a messy job so … deligate..

Braai the kebabs until “just” cooked and serve….

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Do remember to “braai” the kebab’s until JUST cooked, you want them deliciously tender..


Serve with a slice of Spinach and Ricotta loaf (recipe following – part 2 of 4 ) and a Nectarine green salad with a yummy pear and rosemary dressing (part 3 of 4)….


And then we go fishing…

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To follow… Part 2 of 4… Spinach and Ricotta loaf…


Spinach and Feta Chicken Pie….at Somersetgift Farm Swellendam

If you are looking for a “let your hair down” and relax weekend, book a couple of days at Somersetgift Farm, Swellendam. We’ve booked Fish Eagle Lodge for a family birthday weekend (my mom turned 70, dad 77 and my Emma 7) so it was quite a BIG birthday weekend, and what better way than to celebrate it with the whole family.

I was in charge of Saturday’s lunch, and decided to make this very tasty and visually appealing chicken pie, it is a bit of a labour of love, but so worth the little bit of hassle to make it.

By 8 the house was filled with the smell of Roast chicken, and by 10 we all had some “special birthday cake” on the veranda overlooking the beautifull Swellendam mountains….

And then it was time to start playing in the kitchen..

For this Spinach and Feta Chicken Pie you will need:

1 Whole free range chicken
1 Roll of puff pastry
One bag of creamed spinach (you will find this with the frozen veggies, it comes with 2 bags in a small box, or you can make a creamy spinach mixture by frying spinach with a little bit of cream, you will need about 3/4 cup full)
One wheel of feta cheese, broken into small pieces
One cup of bechemel sauce (quite thick)
1 egg for on top of the pasty

For the sweet red tomatoes you will need:
A couple of red Rosa tomatoes
Half a cup of Red Wine vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar

Roast the chicken, cool and debone. Add the creamy spinach, bechemel sauce and feta. Season well and allow to cool completely to room temperature if the chicken is still slightly warm.

At this point I was running in and out of the house, taking pictures of the girls feeding apples to the horses to catching fish with ouma and oupa in the dam right in front of the house.

About an hour before you want the serve lunch start rolling out the pastry, not too thin, just slightly bigger than the standard puff pastry square.

The bottle of cold Rawbones worked well as a rolling pin with the added benefit of keeping the pastry cold.

Cut strips in the pasty, on both sides +/- 8 cm long and about 2cm wide, long enough to be able to fold over the chicken, to form a roll.

Once cut, lift the pastry onto a baking tray, and add the cooled chicken mixture to the middle of the pastry, don’t “overfill” the pastry.

Start folding the pastry over the chicken, first left then right, till the roll is formed. Don’t worry about small gaps in the pastry, no need to completely seal the chicken.

Wipe some beaten egg over the pastry to form a golden colour while baking.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees till golden in colour.

Start making the sweet little Rosa tomatoes about 15 minutes before you want the serve the chicken pie. Simmer together the Red Wine Vinegar and brown sugar till slightly thickened, this should take about 10 minutes, add a little bit more sugar if it does not want to thicken. The smell of the Red Wine Vinegar is quite addictive and yummy different….add the little red Rosa tomatoes at the end and simmer for about one minute in the thickened sauce.

Serve the chicken pie on a flat warm platter or long wooden cutting board, top with the sweet red tomatoes and drizzle with the syrupy Red Wine Vinegar reduction…

I used 2 x Roast chickens and doubled the recipe, so we served 2 chicken pies, 6 adults , 4 childen and there were no leftovers….

The savoury creamy feta infused chicken, crispy pastry, and a hint of sweet tomatoes is a match made in heaven….

And after lunch, the kids dissapeared again, down the lawn, around the dam, to feed the horses…