Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Brydie Thompson 

Kiwi Summer

We live in an amazing country, yet we often find it hard to define what food represents New Zealand cuisine. This has freed many of our chefs, not constrained by traditions, to become some of the most creative in the world. I do hope though the recent trend of incorporating indigenous ingredients and Māori techniques and flavours by chefs continues to grow, helping us to define a true Kiwi cuisine.

There are a couple of ingredients or dishes almost every Kiwi identifies with, and I have taken a couple of these and given them a twist just in time for you to try them out when entertaining this summer. Food is often about memories, and what better time than summer to create some choice memories!

No Kiwi party is complete without this crowd pleaser. We’ve all made the onion soup and reduced cream version, now try making it from scratch.

1kg onions
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup sour cream
250g cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and white pepper
fresh chives, chopped

Peel the onions and dice finely. Place the oil in a large pan and add the diced onions. Cover and cook over a low heat for approx. two hours, stirring often, until the onions have caramelised (a golden-brown colour). Two hours may seem like a long time and you can possibly do it faster, but I found it better to do it low and slow. Remove the lid in the last 20‒30 minutes to ensure the onions turn golden brown. If the onions begin to stick to the pan at any stage a little water will fix this. Once cooked, allow to cool to room temperature.

Put the cooked onions, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Blend until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then stir in the chopped chives.

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