Monique Labat's mozzarella and roast red pepper salad
Monique Labat's mozzarella and roast red pepper salad

In November, Woolworth’s Taste debuted its first Readers’ Issue, showcasing favourite recipes, wines, restaurants and tips submitted by its readers. Woolworths TASTE editor Sumien Brink cites the cover of this issue, which was also chosen by the readers and features a colourful Mozzarella and Roast Red Pepper Salad contributed by Monique Labat of Durban, as one of the highlights of the issue.

Varsha Naidu’s orange sorbet and easy French vanilla ice cream

“I saw the recipe for the orange sorbet on BBC Lifestyle’s Come Dine with Me and tweaked it, adding a dash of grapefruit juice, because I don’t like desserts that are too sweet. For the vanilla ice cream, I use reduced fat cream so that it’s a bit kinder on the waistline.”

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation: 20 minutes

For the orange sorbet:

3 oranges, seeded, juiced and strained

100g sugar

1 grapefruit, juiced and strained

1 Clemengold, juiced and strained

For the French vanilla ice cream:

8 large free-range eggs

600g Demerara sugar

8 cups low-fat whipping cream

4 cups low-fat milk

6 tsp vanilla extract

2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped

1 Using a vegetable peeler, pare the zest from the oranges. Place the sugar and 1¼ cups water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange zest and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

2 Add the orange, grapefruit and Clemengold juices to the sugar mixture. Stir, then strain into a shallow freezerproof container. Freeze until almost frozen solid.

3 Mix the mixture with a fork to break up any ice crystals, then freeze until solid. Alternatively, churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze until ready to use.

4 Remove the sorbet from the freezer 15 to 30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly. Serve with the French vanilla ice cream.

5 To make the French vanilla ice cream, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, and continue whisking until completely blended. Add the cream, milk and vanilla extract and seeds and whisk to blend. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving.

Cook’s note: Freeze a few sprigs of mint for 5 minutes before serving and use to garnish.

Wheat- and gluten-free

Monique Labat’s mozzarella and roast red pepper salad

“My Italian husband and I were so happy when Woolworths started stocking genuine mozzarella di bufala, which is what makes this dish so delicious. It’s perfect for summer – easy and light – and it features seasonal peppers and fresh basil.

Serves 4

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

8 baby red peppers

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

150g cherry tomatoes

4 plum tomatoes

1 tbs red wine vinegar

2 x 250g balls buffalo mozzarella

basil leaves for serving

edible flowers to garnish

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Halve the peppers and remove the seeds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, scatter over the garlic, and season. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

2 Toss the cherry tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil, season and add to the peppers for the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting time.

3 Halve the plum tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds and juice, then halve again. Plate, with the roast peppers and cherry tomatoes. Whisk the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar. Drizzle over the salad. Top with the mozzarella, basil leaves and edible flowers.

Carb-conscious, health-conscious, meat-free

Pooveshini Moodley’s white chocolate mousse with fresh summer berries

“This dessert is my own creation. The tartness of the berries perfectly offsets the creamy sweetness of the mousse. I love it because of its sheer simplicity and ease. It’s definitely one of my special occasion desserts.”

Serves 4

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes

200g good-quality white chocolate

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

1½ cups fresh cream

100g fresh strawberries

100g fresh blueberries

crunchy granola bar crushed, to serve

1 Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl along with the vanilla seeds and 3 tablespoons cream. Melt over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

2 Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool before folding in the whipped cream.

3 Spoon into glasses and chill until ready to serve. Serve with summer berries and crushed crunchy granola.

Wheat- and gluten-free

Navashnee Naidoo’s Thursday’s coriander-chilli prawns

“This recipe is my own… and a family favourite. The secret to its success is definitely the coriander-and-chilli paste, which gives the dish a wonderful flavour. The coconut milk tones down the spicy notes and adds a creaminess to the curry.

Serves 4

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

30g fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish

3 fresh green chillies, chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

50g garlic butter

500g prawns, shelled and deveined

¾ cup coconut milk

a good pinch powdered turmeric

sea salt to taste

hot steamed rice, for serving

1 Blend the coriander and chillies to form a paste. Brown the onion in half the garlic butter.

2 In a separate pan, fry the prawns in the remaining garlic butter for a minute or two. Remove from the pan and mix with the fried onions, then stir in the turmeric and coriander paste.

3 Add the coconut milk to the prawn juices left in the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce over a brisk heat for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Return the prawn mixture and gently heat through. Add salt to taste.

4 Garnish with coriander and serve with the steamed rice.

Fat-conscious, wheat- and gluten-free - Sunday Tribune