Luscious and light, these botanical-inspired recipes designed by Auckland's restaurant rising star and Vuse Ambassador, Anna Weir, are the blueprint for new season grazing.
Buttery flowers, dainty leaves, and verdant, snap-fresh mounds of asparagus, beans and peas surrender a bounty of textures and tastes for your guests in these minimum fuss, maximum impact dishes.
For Anna, refashioning summertime classics comes by way of a rather unconventional source of inspiration. Our ambassador has taken cues from the plethora of flavours accompanying the launch of the Vuse ePod. From Crisp Mint through to velvety smooth Vanilla Medley and Blushed Mango, there are ample options to bring the flavours in your dish to life.
“Take a humble approach when sourcing ingredients," says Anna. “Get excited by fresh, seasonal produce from New Zealand growers and farmers - that’s where the key to flavour is.”
From baked goat cheese folded in a hazelnut crumb against notes of honey, to vibrant raw fish crudo submerged in mango, we plate up four sensational dishes you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.
SEARED BEEF CARPACCIO, BERRY, HORSERADISH AND PARMESAN
Inspired by Vuse ePod's Very Berry
Rub salt and pepper into 200g beef eye fillet and sear in a hot pan until brown and crispy; 2 minutes on all sides. Remove and rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly and arrange on a platter. For the dressing, douse ½ diced shallot, in 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar with juice of half a lemon and stand for 10 minutes. Add in 50g each: strawberries and blueberries, chopped. Combine with 2 Tbsp chives, chopped, ¼ cup olive oil and 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, then season. For crème fraîche, combine 100g crème fraîche, and 2 Tbsp horseradish (fresh, micro-planted) with the juice of half a lemon. Drizzle berry mixture on top of beef. Dollop crème fraîche mixture between berries and finish with ½ cup shaved Parmesan and garlic flowers.
RAW FISH CRUDO WITH MANGO, AVOCADO, AND CHILLI
Inspired by Vuse ePod's Just Mango
Blitz half a mango with ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar, juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Set aside. Using a fork, create a purée combining 1 avocado, juice of half a lemon, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley and a pinch of salt. Place 300g boned kingfish fillet (skin and bloodline removed) skin side-up on a board and slice across the grain in 5mm thick slices using a sharp knife. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour mango juice onto a plate and position kingfish on top. Arrange avocado purée with 1 radish, mandolin sliced, on top and in between fish. Finish with 3 sprigs of dill and a drizzle of chilli oil on top.
BAKED GOAT’S CHEESE WITH MINTED SPRING GREENS
Inspired by Vuse ePod's Polar Mint
Douse ½ diced shallot in lemon juice. Set aside. Bring salted water to the boil and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil ¼ cup each: chopped asparagus, peas, and broad beans (fresh, peeled) in separate batches for 1-2 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to ice bath to cool completely. Drain and pat dry. Blitz ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, peeled, with 1 Tbsp dukkah and ¼ cup panko crumbs in a food processor. Season with flakey sea salt. Dip 100g firm goat cheese into 1 whisked egg, then press into crumb mixture to coat. Bake on lined oven tray for 10-15 minutes at 150°C. Combine shallots with ½ cup olive oil, salt, and 1tsp each: Dijon and honey. Toss through vegetables with ½ cup chopped mint and lemon zest. Transfer to serving dish and top with baked goat cheese. Garnish with dukkah and pea/broad bean leaves and flowers.
VANILLA RISOTTO WITH PROSCUITTO AND SCALLOP
Inspired by Vuse ePod's Vanilla Medley
Combine seeds from 1 vanilla bean with 1 Tbsp butter. Set aside. Melt 1Tbsp each: butter and olive oil in a large pot. Cook 3 Tbsp diced shallots, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 3 Tbsp diced leeks until translucent. Stir in ½ cup Arborio rice on low heat. Add ¼ cup dry white wine and 1 cup chicken stock, stirring regularly. Once evaporated, add 1 cup chicken stock in small increments. Cook until al dente, 15 -18 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla butter with 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan until creamy. Cover and set aside. Pat dry 12 scallops, season, and sear on high heat with 2-3 tsp oil until opaque; 1-2 minutes per side. Divide risotto among four serving bowls, top with scallops and 4 sheets of torn prosciutto.