Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Simple Polenta & Eggs

Since there is nothing better than no fuss food…

Simple Polenta with Eggs
Packeted, uncooked polenta, according to serving instruction
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Eggs (preferably organic and/or free-range)
Garlic cloves
A few handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Olive oil
White vinegar

Cook polenta according to packet instructions, mixing in plenty of parmesan and butter (or olive oil, for a more health-conscious weekday meal). Meanwhile, soft poach the eggs in boiling water with a tablespoon or two of white vinegar. Slice garlic into fine slivers and saute in a frypan with a little olive oil until almost coloured golden, then add a few handfuls of spinach leaves. Wilt the spinach and allow the garlic to finish colouring before removing from the heat. When all is done, scoop your desired serve of polenta into a warmed dish and gently place a poached egg on top. Serve with the wilted, garlicky spinach, and season all with plenty of sea salt flakes (trust me, they’re better and worth the investment), fresh cracked pepper and parmesan cheese.

Recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s “Polenta with Eggs” in Jamie Magazine, The Italian Issue, 2012.


Cheesy Zucchini & Mint Risotto

Happy Christmas everyone!!  I hope you indulged in both rest and merry-making. My Christmas was relaxed and peaceful, with a BIG northern hemisphere style feast, including turkey, Christmas ham, roasted veg and potatoes, yorkshire puddings, stuffing, prosciutto and figs, salami and smoked salmon.  I’m salivating just thinking of it again!

If you’d like something a little different from holiday fare, but still with a little indulgence, I would suggest this beautiful risotto recipe:



  •  1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped, stalks reserved
  • 125 grams mozzarella or bocconcini
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 celery stick, minced
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • 400ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100ml hard cider or white wine
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Chop all of your vegetables as instructed in the ingredients list.  Put a large saucepan onto medium-low heat and add butter, a splash of olive oil, a splash of water, celery and onion.  Cook for around 5-6 minutes until softened and translucent.  In a separate plan, bring the stock to a boil, then turn down the heat, add the mint stalks and let it simmer.  Once the vegetables are just soft, add the rice to the pan.  Stir fry the rice with the veg for around 2 minutes to let it absorb the flavours.  The rice should turn a bit translucent, and at this point add the cider/wine.  Keep stirring until the cider has been absorbed by the rice.  Stirring constantly, add the stock (avoiding the mint stalks) a ladle at a time, and allowing each ladle-full to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next.  When you have about 1/3 stock left, throw in the zucchini cubes to allow them to just cook.  Keep adding stock, and finally the zucchini, to your risotto until it is oozing.  Remove from heat.  Tear up your mozzarella or bocconcini into the risotto and stir it through along with the chopped mint leaves.  Stir through half the parmesan, season with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning to your taste.  Serve up with plenty of mint, parmesan and chilli sprinkled on top, and a good lug of olive oil.


This recipe was adapted from and inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals app for iPhone.

Swedish Mushrooms & Humble Buttermilk Salad

I’ll admit it: I’m a little bit of a Jamie Oliver fanboy.  It’s probably the rustic appeal, the simplicity of the flavours, but also his ethos of healthy cooking and using fresh ingredients that makes me love his recipes.  And you know those nights when you’re craving something fresh and light, yet homely and delicious? That’s when I pull out one of these..

When I went to Jamie’s Italian in Sydney, I fell completely in love with this wonderful little salad of lettuce, mint and buttermilk.  It feels like summer and will impress any of your friends.  It’s light because of the lemon and creamy like ranch or caesar from the buttermilk, but with a fraction of the fat, sodium and sugar.


  • baby cos (romaine) lettuce
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • buttermilk
  • one lemon
  • fresh parmesan cheese

Wash the lettuce and mint leaves and tear into more fork-manageable chunks and place in a large bowl.  Drizzle over the buttermilk until the leaves are very lightly dressed.  Squeeze over some lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Adjust with more lemon or buttermilk as needed.  Plate up and grate plenty of parmesan cheese over the salad.

These creamy yet light mushrooms are beautiful as a main with your humble salad — and you’ll be amazed at how easy this dish is, especially when the oozy shrooms melt on your tastebuds…


  • 350 grams mixed mushrooms, sliced (try button, swiss, portobello, whatever is available)
  • 150ml light cream
  • one small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 30 grams butter
  • olive oil
  • 100ml dry or sweet cider (strongbow, etc.)
  • one lemon
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


Place a large fry pan on medium heat and add butter and a lug of olive oil.  Once it starts to sizzle add the mushrooms and onion and cook for around 10 minutes, until everything gets really golden, tender and fragrant.  Try and not stir it too much to allow the mushrooms to colour.  When all is perfect, add the cider and deglaze the pan.  Then add the cream and bring it to a light bubbling simmer.  Give a squeeze of lemon juice all over, season with sea salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.  Serve with warm, crusty bread and the humble salad.

Recipes inspired by and adapted from the Jamie Oliver 20 Minute Meals App for iPhone and jamieoliver.com

Jamie’s Italian, Sydney

Jamie Oliver’s new joint should be a destination on the list of anyone in Sydney who likes and/or eats food.  I was pretty chuffed to discover that this little restaurant was opening earlier this year, and was pining for a good opportunity in my schedule to go.  Although I debated making the trip for my birthday, a sooner occasion came along when The Malaysian, Graceward & I trekked out to Surry Hills & the CBD for some fun on one of those sunny days we’ve managed to get this spring…

It didn’t take long to decide Jamie’s would be dinner.

Crunchy Salad, Crispy Squid with Garlicky Mayo

I had read two or three horror stories about trying to get in to Jamie’s Italian (no bookings for less than 6 people), so we tried to arrive ‘early.’  We got there around 5:30pm, were given a buzzer and told it would be around 45 minutes.  With a 150 metre radius for the buzzer, the host told us we were welcome to have drinks in the (crowded) Jamie’s bar, or go somewhere else for drinks and come back.

In all I don’t think we waited more than 20 minutes before our buzzer went alight and vibrating and we headed back to the restaurant, thankful we had picked a bench to wait on rather than sculling drinks upon our unexpectedly early paging!

Jamie’s Italian is very reasonably priced (I was actually shocked when I saw the menu online), nicely decorated and has a trendy vibe.  The table waiters were extremely prompt and friendly (we were served by a guy named Jamie!) — happy to explain and making sure our water was always topped up.

I started my night out with a frizzante (sparkling wine) and the waiter offered us a selection of Brasserie bread and olive oil on the house (though, apparently in most cases you need to ask for this.  Remember to do so because the bread is fantastic.)  Following that we ordered some Crispy Squid with garlicky mayonnaise ($12) as antipasti.  The squid was perfectly crisp and the mayo made it completely moreish.

For mains we ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese ($12 half /$19 large), Crab & Squid Ink Risotto ($15.5 half /$26.5 large), and Monachelle Puttanesca ($12 half /$17.5 large).  (Mains not pictured due to lighting at our table.)
My favorite was the Puttanesca — “Seashell pasta with a tomato sauce, capers, chilli, anchovies, parsley, black olives & herby breadcrumbs.”  The herby breadcrumbs which adorned each serve added an amazing crunch to the pasta dishes, really setting them apart from other italian restaurants I had eaten in.

We also ordered the Humble Green Salad ($6) and Crunchy Salad ($5.5) to share.  The Humble Salad, a salad of cos (romaine), mint leaves, buttermilk and parmesan, is delicious, and I’ve already replicated it at home.  The crunchy salad, a salad of shaved root vegetables, was great as well but better suited to pair with a meat dish.

Panna Cotta, Brasserie Bread, The Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

Now, I’ve read several blog posts on Jamie’s, and few people seem to be mentioning the desserts.  Let me tell you: even if you have eaten elsewhere and all you have room for at Jamie’s is dessert…GO!  We ordered The Ultimate Brownie ($8.5) and the Creamy Panna Cotta ($8.5).  First of all…where else in Sydney can you get good dessert for $8.5?  The brownie was gigantic, gooey on the inside, and is made of chocolate, raspberries and amaretto!  The Panna Cotta was so perfectly sweet and flecked with vanilla seeds.  Totally the best Panna Cotta I have had.

Jamie’s Italian
107 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW
(02) 8240 9000

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

Warm Lentil Salad w/ Sausages & Tomatoes (3 of 3)

Hey, how is everyone?  I’ve been away from twitter & blogging — last week I did photography for an event at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, then promptly fell sick.  Sooo, I’ve been recovering from a terrible cold.  So much for my resolve to keep this blog updated!

Here is the final variation I did on the Warm Lentil Salad w/ Bacon & Crispy Croutons.  Similar to what HeNeedsFood.com posted a while back; and you can use any sausage you like.  I picked up some organic chicken & herb sausages that were on special.

Follow the recipe for the warm lentil salad up until it’s time to toss it all in with the greens.  At the same time, brown your sausages in another pan.
When the lentils are prepped and the sausages are golden, put it all in a casserole together along with some halved cherry or grape tomatoes.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or so at 200c.
Serve over herby greens like rocket (spinach would work too), sausages on top and juices drizzled over.