I have been a fan of Sarah Tuck’s contributions to Dish Magazine for a while now.  Her recipes strike the perfect balance of inspirational yet attainable.  Classic flavours or dishes have an innovative or interesting twist, always enticing me to give them a go.

As a recipe writer and food stylist who dabbles in a little photography, I look at recipes in magazines with a critical eye. Sarah is one of the growing number of food writers whose work includes writing the recipe, the styling and photography, each a different skill yet she does each equally well.

This, her first book, Coming Un Stuck, illustrates Sarah’s talent as well as the personal journey she recently found herself on. Food writer, food stylist, photographer, mother, wife … we often define ourselves with labels, but is this really who we are?  A year ago Sarah’s youngest child headed off to university and a few months later her husband left to pursue a new life. Sarah says she “came unstuck”.

“I couldn’t be bothered to eat,” says Sarah, “and I certainly couldn’t summon the inclination to cook.” With the help of friends, family, a psychologist, long walks and many yoga sessions, Sarah pulled through and she says, “I began to do what I have always done to show my love for the people I care about. I cooked.” The book was a cathartic journey for Sarah and we get to enjoy the results. The chapter titles give you a taste with ‘start the day right’, ‘sad arse dinners for one’, ‘share the love’ and ‘the sweet stuff’.

Coming un stuck, RRP$59.99, available at all good book retailers.

Sarah has generously shared one of her favourite recipes from the book.

The Ultimate Vege Burgers 

Serves 4

This recipe came together in a flash; the burgers have such a brilliant flavour and texture combination and are super satisfying.

2 x 390g cans cannellini beans

2 cups rolled oats

6 cloves garlic

¾ cup loosely packed parsley leaves

½ tsp chilli flakes

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

⅓ cup pine nuts

 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar

1 tsp caster sugar

1 tbsp finely chopped fennel fronds

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, finely sliced

½ small red onion, finely sliced

½ cup Greek-style natural yoghurt

½ cup good-quality mayonnaise (I use Best Foods)

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp Dijon mustard

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

 

2 tbsp high smoke point cooking oil

4 brioche buns, split

3 cups watercress

2 avocados, sliced

 

Rinse and drain beans and put them in a food processor with the oats, garlic, parsley, chilli flakes and zest. Season well with salt and pepper and whiz to combine. When it comes together as a thick paste add pine nuts and pulse to combine. Tip out into a bowl and squash together into four burger-sized patties.

Put olive oil, vinegar, sugar, fennel fronds, and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Toss sliced fennel and onion through the dressing.

In a separate bowl, whisk yoghurt, mayo, garlic, mustard and zest with salt and pepper.

Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook patties for 3–4 minutes each side until cooked through. Grill brioche buns and serve patties with yoghurt mayo, watercress and avocados, topped with fennel slaw.

 

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