January 12th, 2021


Happy New Year my foodie friends. I hope you have been enjoying some downtime over the summer break (or winter if you are in the Northern hemisphere). I do love the relaxed and slower pace of the weeks after the busyness of Christmas. Although, it is full in a different way with family and friends visiting and many impromptu shared dinners. I feel very fortunate to be experiencing a mostly normal summer here in NZ (minus some overseas whānau/family). I realise this isn’t the case for many others around the world and truly hope some ease will come in 2021.

Today I share some simple vegetable sides that are useful to have in your repertoire for summer feasting. These three dishes focus on a hero vegetable with simple flavour additions to make them shine. They can all be served warm or cold depending on the occasion and can be included on a more formal table, or to accompany a casual summer barbecue. The sesame broccoli is a particular favourite – that tahini sauce is so good! I always make extra to use as a spread and/or dip for the days to come. 

Sesame Broccoli with Tahini Lemon Dressing

Tahini is a fabulous ingredient to have in the pantry. Combined with lemon, this is one of my favourite dressings to go with lightly steamed broccoli. It’s also delicious drizzled onto roasted kūmara.
Servings 6 as a side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 2 heads broccoli, about 800g
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Tahini lemon dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup


  • Chop the broccoli into florets. Lightly steam until just tender, about 6-8 minutes. Refresh in cold water, drain well then place into a serving bowl. Add the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds and toss to combine.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, checking taste and adjusting as needed.
  • Serve the sesame broccoli warm or cold, with the tahini dressing on the side.

Beetroot, Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese

The combination here of beetroot and crunchy hazelnuts is quite fabulous. An afterthought for this recipe would be to use grilled halloumi in place of the goat cheese.
Servings 6 as a side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes


  • 6 medium beetroot, about 750g
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • small handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • pinch of salt and cracked pepper
  • cup 60g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100 g soft goat cheese, broken into 2cm pieces


  • Trim the top and tail from the whole beetroot and place into a large saucepan. Cover with water, add salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes, until tender. (Alternatively use a pressure cooker, checking the manual for timing.) Drain the beetroot and cool enough to handle.
  • In a large bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, mint and seasoning.
  • Rub the skins off the beetroot and cut each into 8-10 wedges. Add to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving dish.
  • When ready to serve, scatter over the chopped hazelnuts, goat cheese and extra mint leaves to garnish. Serve warm or cold.

Roasted Spring Carrots with Tarragon Nasturtium Butter

Tarragon and nasturtium are one of those wonderful garden additions that you plant once and then they keep growing back every year. Do go lightly on the tarragon here as it can be overpowering in excess. If tarragon is unavailable use parsley, and calendula petals could be used in place of nasturtium. 
Servings 6 as a side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes


  • 2 bunches baby carrots, about 800g
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 30 g soft salted butter
  • 8-10 tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 nasturtium flowers, finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Remove the greens from the carrots and place on a large baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt. Toss to combine, then spread into a single layer and place into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then shake the tray and roast for a further 15 minutes, until golden and tender.
  • Make the flavoured butter. In a small bowl, combine the soft butter, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, chopped tarragon and nasturtium in a bowl.
  • Arrange the hot roasted carrots on a serving platter and dot with the tarragon butter. Garnish with nasturtium flowers to serve.



Homegrown Kitchen 2021 Recipe Calendar

Join the Conversation

  1. Penny Boyle says:

    Yum, all my favourites, Broccoli, Tahini & Lemon Juice. Trying this tonight. Many thanks. Pen B

    1. Me too! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Agreed these all sound delicious! Looking forward to trying them all.

    1. Thanks Sharron, I always serve a lot of vegetables on the dinner table so thought I would share some I have been making recently.
      Enjoy 🙂

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