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How to Plan a No-Fuss Spring Feast

How to Plan a No-Fuss Spring Feast

Spring is the perfect season for entertaining, and with a few public holidays on the horizon it’s a good time to start planning your next get-together. It’s our sincere belief that, when hosting, your time is best spent sharing a glass of good wine with friends, as opposed to cooped up in the kitchen. That’s why all the recipes here a designed to allow you to at least partially prep them in advance. Barbecued skewers, fresh salad, and tasty tarts – it’s a fuss-free spring feast. Cheers to that!

Barbecue lamb, halloumi, and asparagus skewers

Juicy Aussie lamb plus rich halloumi and nutty asparagus, this dish is a simple equation that works out to be much greater than the sum of its parts.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
200g pearl barley
600g Coles Australian Boneless Mini Lamb Shoulder Roast, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbs olive oil
250g halloumi, cut into 1.5cm pieces
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
1 tbs pistachio dukkah
1 avocado, stoned, peeled, cut into wedges
1 red onion, thinly sliced
200g Perino tomatoes, halved
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
1 cup mint sprigs
1 cup coriander sprigs
1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Spring onion oil
4 spring onions, coarsely chopped
60mL olive oil

Method:
1. Cook the barley in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Refresh under cold water. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, combine lamb, paprika, cumin, ground coriander and oil in a bowl. Season. Toss to combine. Thread the lamb, halloumi and asparagus onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers.
3. Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on medium-high. Cook the skewers for three minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil. Set aside for five minutes to rest.
4. To make the spring onion oil, place the spring onion and oil in a blender. Season. Blend until smooth.
5. Place dukkah on a small plate. Dip one side of the avocado in the dukkah. Arrange the barley, onion, tomato, radish, watercress, mint and coriander sprigs on a serving platter. Top barley mixture with the skewers and avocado. Drizzle with the spring onion oil and sprinkle with sliced spring onion.

To drink:
Nothing pairs with Australian lamb quite like a Merlot. We’d recommend the Lindemans Bin 40 for a smooth, medium-bodied wine with a subtle spice.

Honey and Soy Chicken Skewers

This one is a certified crowd-pleaser. Make sure to snag a couple of skewers for yourself before serving, because these won’t stick around.

Makes: 30
Prep time: 15 minutes (+1 hour marinating)
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
12 Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Chicken Thigh Fillets, trimmed, chopped
125mL honey
125mL soy sauce
60mL oyster sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs finely grated ginger
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted

Method:
1. Combine the chicken, honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, Chinese five spice and oil in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour to develop the flavours.
2. Drain the chicken from marinade. Thread the chicken evenly onto 30 small soaked bamboo skewers.
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the skewers, turning occasionally, for eight minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining skewers.
4. Place the skewers on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seed.

To drink:
This light, refreshing meal deserves to be served alongside a light, refreshing wine. Try a sparkling white like the Yarra Burn YB Cuvee.

Roast Pumpkin and Couscous Salad

This salad ticks the box of being both seasonally and thematically appropriate for October. The flavour showcases the splendour of spring, and the pumpkin adds a dash of Halloween-inspired charm.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
800g Kent pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tsp Moroccan seasoning
200g pearl couscous
150g frozen broad beans
35g dried cranberries
20g flaked almonds, toasted
½ cup coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
1 lemon, zested, juiced
2 tbs olive oil
100g fetta, crumbled

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin on the tray. Spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with Moroccan seasoning. Toss to combine. Bake, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, cook the couscous in a large saucepan of boiling water for eight minutes or until tender. Drain well.
3. Cook broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water for two minutes or until tender. Drain. Peel. Place in a large serving bowl.
4. Add pumpkin, couscous, cranberries, almond, coriander and mint to the broad beans in the bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Season. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with fetta and lemon zest.

To drink:
Normally, we’d opt for a light wine to pair with a salad – but this dish can handle a more robust pairing, like a rich Pepperjack shiraz from the Barossa Valley.

Little Lemon Meringue Tarts

The sweet and fluffy meringue is balanced by a hint of sour lemon in this dessert that’ll leave you wanting seconds.

Makes: 24
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients:
1 Coles Australian Free Range Egg white
55g caster sugar
2 sheets filo pastry
280g reduced-fat vanilla yoghurt
2 tbs lemon curd

1. Preheat oven to 100°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg white in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue whisking until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy.
3. Transfer meringue mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe 24 meringues onto the lined tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until dry to the touch. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.
4. Increase oven to 160°C. Spray two 12-hole, 30mL mini muffin pans with olive oil spray. Place one filo sheet on a clean work surface. Spray with olive oil spray. Top with the remaining filo sheet. Cut the filo stack in half crossways, then cut each piece lengthways into three strips. Cut each strip into four pieces to make 24 squares. Line the prepared pans with the filo squares. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool completely.
5. Place the yoghurt and lemon curd in a small bowl and gently fold to marble. Divide among filo tarts and top with meringues. Arrange on a serving platter.

To drink:
What would a dessert be without a splash of bubbly? Partner these tarts with a glass (or two) of Revino Prosecco DOC for a perfect match.