As we celebrate the finalists in this year's New Zealand Food Awards - be sure to have your say and vote for the Bite People's Choice winner - we also doff our caps to New Zealand food in general.

Kathy Paterson has been thinking about what New Zealand cuisine actually is and has created some recipes that help define it. Central Otago apricots make up the filling for this sponge cake with whipped cream and edible flowers; Marlborough garlic noir is made in to a tasty butter for skirt steak with warm lentils and roasted cauliflower and her chopped salad is made of locally grown and produced ingredients.

Left: Skirt steak with lentils and roasted cauliflower. Right: Kathy Paterson's chopped salad. Photos / Bite magazine
Left: Skirt steak with lentils and roasted cauliflower. Right: Kathy Paterson's chopped salad. Photos / Bite magazine

We feel very lucky to have one of New Zealand's finest chefs, The French Cafe's Simon Wright, sharing his plant-based challenge recipe for Moroccan spiced eggplant with cauliflower falafels, coconut yoghurt and avocado salad and Jamie Oliver - not at all Kiwi, I know, but we do love him - sharing quick and easy 5 ingredient recipes from his new book.

Moroccan spiced eggplant with cauliflower felafel and dinner tonight is turmeric brown rice. Photos / Bite magazine
Moroccan spiced eggplant with cauliflower felafel and dinner tonight is turmeric brown rice. Photos / Bite magazine

Tonight, it's a very healthy turmeric brown rice with vegetables.

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