Don’t know what to cook for family dinner tonight? Try one of these new recipe ideas.

Semifreddo alla cassata

A delicious cassata-flavoured dessert inspired by the traditional cake from Sicily.

Serves: 6


2 cups cream

4 eggs, separated

250g castor sugar

50g glacé or preserved cherries

50g almonds, roasted and chopped

100g dark chocolate, chopped

50g preserved ginger in syrup, drained

50g preserved melon in syrup, drained


Beat the cream in a bowl until stiff, and do the same with the egg whites in a separate bowl.

In another bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture.

Fold in the stiff cream and then the egg whites.

Line a 22cm loaf pan with cling wrap. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan, cover it with cling wrap, and freeze overnight.

Turn out onto a platter and allow to soften for about 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Note: Feel free to add pistachios and hazelnuts. If you like, serve with crème fraîche, a dusting of cocoa, and dark or white chocolate (grated or cut into shards). The semifreddo can be made up to three days in advance. It can also simply be spooned into a ceramic bowl to freeze instead of moulded in a loaf tin.

Crostata di pomodoro e ricotta

A simple tart of beautiful tomatoes, fresh ricotta, and green olives.

Serves: 8


For the rough puff pastry

500g cake flour

500g very cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 tsp salt

1 cup iced water

For the filling

10g basil

5g Italian parsley

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 clove garlic, minced

60g Castelvetrano olives (green olives), pitted

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

125g fresh ricotta

350g mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced, whole, or halved


To make the pastry, place the flour on a clean, dry surface, and make a well in the middle. Place the butter and salt in the well, work together with your fingertips, then gradually draw in flour with your other hand.

When the dough is grainy, gradually add the water and mix until incorporated. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Roll into a ball, cover in cling wra and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll the pastry out into a 40 x 20 cm rectangle. Fold it into thirds and turn it 45 degrees in an anti-clockwise direction. Roll the folded pastry out as before, and fold it into thirds again. Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Repeat the same process twice more (a total of four folds and turns). Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Blend the basil, parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the olives, lemon juice and olive oil. Pulse until well combined and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry into a 30cm circle on a large piece of parchment paper. Transfer the paper and pastry to a baking tray.

Spread half the olive mixture over the pastry, leaving a border around the edge. Top with dollops of ricotta, then with the tomatoes.

Fold over the edges of the pastry to encase the filling, then bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Drizzle with the remaining olive mixture and olive oil before serving.

Note: If you don’t have time to make your own pastry, good quality store-bought puff pastry will work just as well.

Naartjie, fennel and prawn salad

They are called naartjies in South Africa, but you will get a similar taste from mandarins or tangerines, or you can use oranges.

Serves: 4


12 - 16 prawns, deveined

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

Salt, to taste

Olive oil, for frying

2 tbs butter

For the dressing

5g chives, finely sliced

3 tbs white wine vinegar

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tsp honey

125ml extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

100g watercress

100g wild rocket

3 naartjies, peeled and sliced

1 avocado, cubed

20g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped


Season the prawns with spices, garlic and salt. Place a pan over high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Sear the prawns on both sides until pink. Add the butter and toss to coat. Set aside.

Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together. Marinate the fennel in the dressing for 15 minutes.

To make the salad, arrange the watercress and rocket on a large serving platter, top with the fennel, naartjies, avocado and dressing, and sprinkle with the chopped almonds.

Serve with the prawns.

Braised oxtail with Parmesan maize rice

A beautifully rich bowl of pull-apart African comfort food.

Serves: 4 - 6


For the braised oxtail

1.5 - 2kg oxtail, cut into sections

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 sticks of celery, sliced

2 tbs tomato paste

1 head garlic, halved

750ml red wine

2 sprigs rosemary

3 bay leaves

For the ragù

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 sticks of celery, chopped

5g Italian parsley, chopped

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs tomato paste

190ml beef stock

1 x 400g can of peeled tomatoes

For the maize rice

500ml vegetable stock

225g maize rice, soaked overnight

1 tbs butter

2 tbs Italian parsley, chopped

Parmesan cheese, grated


Season the oxtail with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof saucepan or casserole over high heat. Brown the oxtail on all sides, working in batches in a single layer. When properly browned, drain the fat and set aside.

Add the chopped vegetables to the casserole and reduce the heat to medium. Brown the vegetables for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes.

Return the oxtail to the saucepan, add the garlic and wine, and bring to a boil. (If the wine does not cover the meat, top up with water or beef stock.) Add the rosemary and bay leaves.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fall-apart tender.

Remove the oxtail from the liquid, and let it cool. When cool, pick the meat off half of the bones and keep the rest intact. Strain the cooking liquid and allow it to separate. Remove the fat that rises to the top and keep the clear liquid for the ragù.

To make the ragù, finely chop all the vegetables and herbs in a food processor. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the vegetables, and sauté until soft.

Add the tomato paste, then the stock to deglaze the pan. Cook until the liquid has reduced and the vegetables have almost dissolved.

Add the tomatoes and break them up using a fork or potato masher. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the oxtail braising liquid and bring to a simmer.

Add the shredded and whole pieces of oxtail to the vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a slightly syrupy consistency.

To make the maize rice, bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan. Using a whisk, mix the maize rice into the boiling stock. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 40 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Turn off the heat and stir through the butter and parsley. Stir in the oxtail ragù or serve it separately with the maize rice. Serve with Parmesan.

You can substitute maize rice with samp or Arborio rice.


Makes: 6 mini loaves or 2 standard loaves


225g cake flour

95g polenta

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp fine salt

1 tsp white sugar

1 tbs rosemary, chopped

4 eggs, at room temperature

125ml olive oil

250ml buttermilk

1 x 410g can sweetcorn kernels, drained

130g creamed sweetcorn

75g peppadews (sweet piquanté peppers), chopped

30g Italian parsley, chopped

100g cheddar, grated


Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spray two 22cm loaf tins with non-stick cooking spray and place them on a baking tray.

Combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, salt, sugar, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and buttermilk together, then stir into the dry ingredients.

Using a large spoon, fold the corn kernels, creamed sweetcorn, peppadews, parsley, and two-thirds of the cheese into the mixture.

Divide the batter evenly between the loaf tins and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve with the rooibos-smoked butter on page 218 and biltong dust.

Note: Peppadews are unique to South Africa, but you can substitute them with pimento peppers or pickled jalapeños, or use red bell peppers.

Recipes from the “Harvest Table” cookbook.

2023-03-09T15:14:17Z dg43tfdfdgfd