Recipe: The Ultimate Garlic Paste

Recipe: The Ultimate Garlic Paste

Lara McCall of the amazing Burnside Organic Farm changed my life for the better the day she shared this recipe with me. Our fridge bulges with jars of this paste. Make enough to last a year, harvest your garlic, save some to plant, some to roast whole, make paste with the rest, repeat. Here at Stellar Violets it’s slathered on bread, spooned into all manner of dishes, and eaten straight from the jar. No-one leaves without demanding the recipe. Now lovely Lara has agreed to share it here. Merry Christmas.

Garlic Paste

Keeps for a year in the fridge.

This recipe was passed to me by a Lebanese friend Nadji. Passed down from his grandmother. I love to keep sharing this amazing recipe.


Quality sea salt 3 to 4 teaspoons

Lemon juice about 1 cup

Extra Virgin Olive oil about 1- 1.5 litres

500g of peeled garlic (takes a while to peel, set aside a good amount of time or use 2 same sized stainless steel bowls, shake garlic with bowls together).

Peel the garlic, remove the rough end

Place in the food processor with the salt

Blend until a paste

As the food processor is running, start adding the oil in a fine stream, approx half a litre

Add half the lemon juice

Continue with the oil, alternating oil, lemon juice, until the paste thickens.

Taste and add salt if necessary.

If too thick, add more lemon juice

If too liquid, add more oil.

Place in jars.

Pour more oil on top to cover.

Seal and refrigerate.

Can also place in pantry unrefrigerated. It will ferment and taste milder.

The salt is important as it is the preservative. The lemon juice is for acidity to keep it safe.

How to make kale chips

How to make kale chips

A gift surely from the heavens, is kale chips. As a kid I loved BBQ flavoured samboy chips as a Friday afternoon treat. I was only allowed one “treat” a week and totally would’ve gorged more given the chance, thankfully my Mum kept consumption of junk on a very tight rein. Thanks to the groundwork she did, these days I prefer to eat the truly good stuff. And this is it. Special thanks to Anita Edwards, the local raw food genius behind this recipe.

  • One bunch kale, 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon savoury nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Wash and break up the kale into bite size pieces, removing stalks and stems. (I sometimes use them later in a stir-fry). Put all ingredients except kale in a blender, blend until smooth. Add mixture and massage until kale is totally covered by sauce.
Put in a dehydrator for approximately 10 hours or until crispy and dry. Alternatively, bake in an oven on a very low heat.

how to make Gozlemes

The deliciousness of Turkish Gozlemes is something every person should experience, in my mind. Kids love ’em too.


We use organic and biodynamic ingredients where possible, and avoid products with unnatural, unnecessary additives. Always read labels if unsure.

  • 200g plain natural yoghurt
  • 250 SR flour
  • 1T olive oil
  • 150g grated tempeh or minced lamb (optional)
  • black cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • chilli flakes or powder
  • 2T homemade tomato juice / sauce
  • 150g fresh mixed greens sliced finely eg spinach, kale, silverbeet. I pick a mix of leaves from the garden without measuring
  • fresh mint leaves – shred and add with the greens
  • 100g fetta (we like sheep and goat)
  • olive oil for frying
  • fresh lemon wedges, to serve

Yay for Gozlemes!


  1. Clean your hands of sticky dough by rubbing them together with a little flour
  2. Sprinkle semolina on your pizza tray and a little on your bench, it will help the dough slide and not stick.
  3. They can be made, refrigerated, and brought out just before cooking the next day.


1. Beat yoghurt with salt ’til smooth. Add flour slowly, mix until it becomes a rough dough. Tip onto lightly floured bench, gently knead ’til dough is smooth, soft, and a bit sticky. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

2. If you’re using tempeh or lamb: heat oil and fry with salt and pepper ’til browned. Add crushed garlic, cumin, and chilli to your taste (a big garlic cloves, and a pinch of spices if you’re not sure). Stir and fry, then add a tablespoon or two of tomato juice/sauce/chutney to bolster flavour, cook for another minute, then allow to cool.

3. Shred the greens. Mix the greens in with the tempeh and lamb if needed, or for cheese and spinach gozlemes, mix the spices with the greens at this point. I would rub the rolled out dough with crushed garlic as I assemble them.

4. Split the dough into four balls. Using a little additional flour on the bench, roll out balls into 30cm circles. Use a rolling pin or if need be, a wine bottle! Over half of each circle, place 1/4 of the greens and/or tempeh mix, sprinkle generously with fetta, and additional chilli if you wish. Fold over and seal the edges with fingers or a fork.

5. For oven cooking: Preheat the oven, get it as hot as you can! I go to 210-230C and have pizza stones in there to cook the Gozlemes on. Brush with oil before putting in the oven. Cook one side, then turn over and cook the other side to golden brown. You could also use an oiled, preheated BBQ hotplate or frying pan.

6. Cut into inch strips or quarters, serve with a pinch of sea salt and a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon.

Kombucha tea: pass it on

Browsing a second hand store in Albany last year, I picked up a little book at random and flicked through the pages.

A hand written note dropped out, titled, “Recipe for Kombucha Tea”. Fascinated, I read on, finding that to make this curious beverage, one would need tea, sugar and something called a ‘kombucha mother’. Where on earth would I get one of those, I wondered.

Six months on, two new friends sent me home from their New Year’s Eve party carefully nursing a small jar. Within it – a kombucha mother!

Kombucha is a bubbly, sweet-sour tonic beverage, made by fermenting sweetened tea. My word, it is delicious, and not only that, very good for one’s health, loaded with pro-biotics and B vitamins. I feel sooo good drinking this stuff, small cups with each meal, and sometimes a ladylike swig straight from the bottle.

It’s cultured using a “mother” or “mushroom”. This is a jelly-like “symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast”, also known by its acronym, a SCOBY.

Making a batch of kombucha takes about 6-7 days, depending on the room temperature it’s stored at. By “harvest time”, the mother has grown a second mother, which can be left alone, or gently torn off and passed on to a friend.

There’s some dispute whether kombucha originated in China or Japan but regardless, it’s been popular in many countries over time, especially Russia, where it’s known as “kvass”.

There’s so much more to learn about the world of wild fermented foods and drinks for health. I recently gave a fun introductory workshop at Fair Harvest Permaculture. If you and some friends are keen to learn, let me know.

And lastly… after a kombucha mother yourself? If  you’d like to visit us in Manjimup, I’d be more than happy to pass one on.

There are also lots of site on the net that connect you with people sharing kefir grains and kombucha mothers.

You could also seek to connect with a local Weston A Price chapter/organisation, they work with traditional nourishing foods and food sources and may be able to help.

How to dry apricots

How to dry apricots

 Easy steps my sister and I followed for sun-drying apricots. 

1. Scrub up at least two old flyscreens. We got some on the cheap at the dump. I mean, refuse site. The endorphins are really doing their thing, even at this early stage.

2. Get some tree-ripe fruit. Ideally, pick it yourself. If you can’t, visit a farmers’ market. Or even, give me a buzz or email at Newton Brothers Orchards. Locals or visitors can pick-up orders from us on Fridays.

3. Slice or halve ripe summer fruits, then place on the bottom screen in a sunny spot. We used my sister’s north-facing deck.

4. Fully cover with top screen to keep out flies and bugs, secure sides with weights (eg rocks or bricks. Or books, if you’re into those..)

5. Are there hungry ants nearby? If so, place screens on a table, and place the table legs in buckets of water.

6. Keep checking and tasting! Protect from rain. Bring in at night if it’s really cold or humid.

7. When fully dried, serve up for snacks (like on a cheese plate) or save in a sealed jar. Mmmm!

And there are no preservatives aside the natural sugars already in the fruit. This is so satisfying,  Thanks to my sister for her photos and, uh, basically doing all the work. Ahem. It’s our first trial, so I’ll report back later in the year about how long they last, if we have any problems with mould and so on. We figure if we dry them and store them in a dry place, all should be well. Plenty more fruits on the way, we’re going to try this technique on more plums, pears, and new season apples soon.