What’s in your basket? | Lauraine Jacobs
Lauraine Jacobs is the Listener magazine food columnist, and Head Judge of the Outstanding NZ
Producer Awards. She loves popping into Orakei Farro to pick up fare for her dinner, and can never resist a few superb artisan products to keep in her fridge for nibbles when friends arrive for a glass of wine.
“Now that autumn is truly making its presence felt, I am excited to choose from the range of pumpkins and squash in the fresh vegetable section. There’s no denying that it really is soup
and risotto weather, so I have been making both. My favourite risotto involves roasting
cubes of pumpkin until they are sweet and caramelised, adding them at the last moment with the parmesan when the risotto is ready. I start with finely chopped leeks in plenty of butter, add arborio rice and find fresh sage is the perfect herb with any squash.
My soup has great flavours too – Indian spices perk it up, and I always use good chicken stock and a touch of coconut cream. The best way to get a silky smooth result is to puree the soup with
a stick blender. I am also enjoying Clevedon Buffalo’s latest product, the marinated fresh
buffalo cheese. I think I must be addicted to it as I keep on dreaming up wintry salads with spinach, fennel, grated beetroot and carrot and lots of herbs and then tossing a generous
helping of this amazing cheese over everything. This cheese also provides an amazing finishing touch to baked pumpkin wedges. The aromatic marinating oil makes a great dressing – it can even be used in stir-fries.
The other product that is an absolute must for me is the range of Genevieve’s dressings. I keep about four or five of them in the fridge to drizzle over salads, vegetables, and even fish and chicken. Why make dressings when there’s something this good already to go?”