One of the downsides of living in London...
...and sometimes far away from friends and family; is that you rarely get to be part of a tight-knit community, unless you managed to live in the same neighbourhood for at least a decade.
I only know a couple of people in my building and to be honest, I don’t even know their names.
Although I’m aware that my situation is not a reflection of everyone else’s, I can’t help but wish we all made a bigger effort to create healthy, thriving and active neighbourhoods.
This brings me to Hetty McKinnon and her new book “Neighbourhood”. Hetty Mckinnon or as she’s also known on Instagram @ArthurStreetKitchen, is an Australian cook – formerly a Beauty PR professional with a love for salads; and not just any type of salads, GREAT salads.
While living in Sydney, she would put together hearty and delicious salads and pack them up to be delivered around her neighbourhood.
Soon, the community started sharing more than salads, but stories, conversations and laughter. This became a national phenomenon with the release of Hetty’s first book “Community”.
Her latest book “Neighbourhood” is an incredible collection of recipes that elevate vegetables while mixing world cuisines together. Hetty pays homage to family recipes with dishes like ”Roasted Beets with Quinoa, Shallots and Orange Miso” and “Beet, Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Slaw with Labneh”.
What I love the most about “Neighbourhood” is the dessert section of the book “Just Bring Dessert”, featuring recipes from Hetty’s neighbours.
Today I’ll be making the “Basil-lemon Scented Millet with Roasted Broccoli”
🕑 30 minutes
- serves 2
- 500g broccoli (cut into florets)
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 200g millet (we used quinoa)
- 1/2 cup rocket leaves
- Basil leaves (torn)
- Flat-leaf Parsley (chopped)
- 30g Parmesan (shaved)
- 1 1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds (toasted)
- sea salt and pepper
for the basil-lemon oil
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt and pepper
– Start by preheating the oven to 200° / 400° F.
– Add the broccoli florets to a baking tray and coat it with the olive oil, followed by sea salt and pepper. Use your hands to massage it and ensure every floret is coated. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, until tender and golden.
– Meanwhile, start preparing the basil-lemon oil. Put the garlic, basil and 1 tablespoon of water into the bowl of a food processor and blitz together until it turns into a green paste. Add the oils and lemon zest and process again, gradually adding the lemon juice. Make sure you taste as you go to make sure the flavours are balanced. You can also use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor.
– Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large saucepan and add the millet or quinoa to it. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer until the stock has absorbed and the grains are tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the basil-lemon oil to the millet or quinoa and mix well.
– When you are ready to serve, combine the broccoli and the millet/quinoa together with the rocket, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some of the leftover basil-lemon oil and top with the shaved Parmesan and sunflower seeds.
“Neighbourhood” is not just a cookbook, but a collection of recipes that encapsulate a time in Hetty’s life. It’s a reminder that great communities can be built no matter where you live and it might only take a home cooked meal to kick start it.
One thing is certain, food brings people together.
Other Recipes We Loved
– Brussels Sprout Caesar with Croutons, Barlotti Beans, and Sunflower Seeds
– Roasted Chestnuts with Pan-fried Pears, Blue Cheese, Belgian Endive and Mustard Vinaigrette
– South African Melktert (Milk Tart)
✚ Neighbourhood. Hearty salads and plant-based recipes from home and abroad by Hetty McKinnon