I had a plethora of fresh tomatoes recently and wanted to make something easy and healthy. I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done on Drizzle & Dip before and this can be challenging. After 8 odd years of blogging I have published well over 1000 posts and probably around 800 recipes (although I have lost count). I decided to make gazpacho. Its raw, vegan and is essentially a blended salad so this dish is winning on all fronts. I also got to use up a load of my tomatoes. I did a Google and came across Omar Allibhoy’s recipe on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and it seemed the most fuss-free version to go for.

Last week I was privileged to experience a chef’s table lunch at the recently opened Table Seven, a private dining venue housed in the trendy new Salt Orchard Precinct in Salt River. It was a lunch to remember. After years of experience working in various kitchens all over the world, husband and wife team Luke and Katie Wonnacott decided to open their own place, and so Table Seven was born. A multi-purpose venue with a gorgeous open plan kitchen where diners can see the chefs in action. This space is also ideal for cooking demonstrations.

The first time I ate bokkoms was at Wolfgat in Paternoster where diners are presented with a cloth bag of freshly baked bread and a pan of bubbling bokkom butter. Seaweed was added which amplified the umami flavour and it was utterly delicious. With this extremely simple recipe for bokkom butter with sage, I am trying to re-create that heavenly food moment. I also wanted to make a bokkom pissaladière, but more about that in a bit.

Two Fridays ago I had the pleasure of spending the night in the newly refurbished La Petite Ferme Vineyard suites at this boutique hotel in Franschhoek and they are beautiful. The accommodation on this iconic Cape farm has been given a complete overhaul and has taken the rooms from country bumpkin to contemporary chic. Each of the suites has its own private pool with jaw-dropping views over the Franschhoek valley. The suites are luxurious on all levels from lighting architecture to décor finishing touches and each room has been individually styled to a theme. The bathrooms are extremely spacious with floor to ceiling views of the surrounds, so you can bath or shower whilst gazing over the vineyards. Underfloor heating and heated towel rails add an extra touch of comfort to an already luxurious experience.

I’m a little late publishing this traditional South African Bobotie recipe because Monday was Heritage here and I should have done it before. Anyway, it’s a recipe I made about 5 years ago for the first time and its one I’m so pleased to be able to share. It comes from my friend Carolie de Koster – a well known culinary figure, multiple cookbook author and cooking teacher who now lives in New Zealand. We met through my blog many years ago and have been corresponding ever since. South African Bobotie is a mildly curried and spicy mince casserole with an egg custard topping that is traditionally served with fragrant yellow rice. Some of the ingredients might sound a little crazy if you are not from here, but it’s utterly delicious.

For any non-South African visiting this recipe post, let me explain. Boerewors is a South African sausage traditionally made from a blend of beef and pork mince and has a load of spices with a dominant one being coriander. It is generally rolled into a coil shape and cooked over a braai (barbecue) and this is where the fat renders out and the smoky flavour locks in. It’s pretty much iconic here and loved by people from all corners of the spectrum. All butcheries will have their own special flavour blend and as a nation, we love to have competitions to see who has the best one. I decided since its Heritage month to come up with a South African flavoured boerewors burger and top it off with crispy bacon, sliced avocado and Peppadews (pickled piquant peppers)– another thoroughly home-grown product.

Bartholomeus Klip is one of my favourite lodges in South Africa and I was lucky to visit for a third time last weekend. Tucked away in Bo-Hermon next to the Elandsberg Nature Reserve it’s a luxury Guesthouse that is completely unique. You get a beautiful glimpse into what life on a working farm is like whilst happily going about your business of doing very little and feasting on delicious food. They are known for their fine country cuisine, so I was especially thrilled to be attending their second pop-up dinner on Friday night.

Bartholomeus Klip, luxury accommodation, Hermon, Western Cape

Caponata is a sweet and sour Sicilian eggplant and tomato relish that is packed with so much vibrant flavour, it is utterly delicious. Its one of those Italian recipes that seems to vary so much from one to the other it’s hard to know what is truly authentic. There is a long list of possible ingredients that could go into it, from anchovies through to raisins and peppers, so I think it’s quite versatile. It can be eaten straight up on bruschetta or toast, and quite frankly its perfect this way, but it can also be stirred through pasta or dolloped into a sandwich.

Milk tart is a classic South African heritage recipe and it’s utterly delicious. The filling consists of either an uncooked or cooked custard and the tart itself can be baked or unbaked. It’s the most similar to a Portuguese pasteis de nata and originates from the Dutch part of our heritage. I have done a baked milk tart recipe on my site and it’s a really nice one. I added a twist and infused Earl Grey tea into the filling turning it into a London Fog rendition, but you could leave that out and make a traditional version. These unbaked individual milk tarts are delicious, and I made them for my client Bakers biscuits using their iconic Tennis biscuits.

When Fat Bastard Wines asked me to come up with a dessert to pair with their Pinotage in celebration of their 21st Birthday, I know I wanted to make a chocolate fondant. I’ve been blogging for eight and a half years and have never done a chocolate fondant on Drizzleanddip.com and I see this as somewhat of a failing on my part. It’s one of the most delectable desserts on the planet and also one of the easiest to make. Who doesn’t want to encounter a molten mound of oozing chocolate goodness to round of a meal? Its perfect to wow guests at a dinner party too. You can make it all in advance, set it aside, and then bake it off 18 minutes before you serve it. It’s that simple.

September in Heritage month in South Africa and the focus is all around where we come from and for me, this translates into the types of recipes I grew up with that make me remember my late mother. I wanted to make something using Cheddar and butter that immediately transported me back to my childhood and a recipe my mom would make, and cheese and onion quiche is one of those dishes. Nothing complicated, just the sweetness of butter-braised onions and the sharpness or mature Cheddar baked into a quiche, which was so very popular in the seventies.