A modern prawn cocktail

This is a modern take on an old classic, perfect for entertaining in the warmer months. You will need 4 dessert, martini or short rocks glasses for this recipe. Serves 4.

Printable recipe version here


For the base

  • The flesh of 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon mint, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for serving
  • 400g watermelon cut in 2cm dice
  • 200g Greek feta
  • 4 lemon slices for garnish

For the prawns

  • 12 raw prawns (shelled and de-veined, tails left on), coated in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste.


For the base of the cocktail, we need to make an avocado puree. Blend together the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, mint leaves and salt until smooth and set aside. For the prawns, fry in a hot pan for approx. 1 minute each side, do not overcook. To assemble your cocktail, divide the avocado puree in the bottom of your glasses. Add watermelon pieces and crumble in some small chunks of feta. Arrange 3 prawns in each glass and sprinkle a little salt over the top. Garnish with a few mint leaves, an extra squeeze of lemon and a lemon slice in each glass for some retro flair!

Mexican Style Salsa Recipes

Here’s two delicious mexican style salsa recipes that are sure to impress at your next gathering or party.

They just so happen to be vegan as well! Serve with your favourite dipping veggies, tortilla chips or flat bread.

Gardenette EJ Butler xx

Download the printable recipe HERE


Pico de gallo


½ red onion that has been macerating in 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar for at least 10min

3 ripe tomatoes finely diced

Juice of 2 limes

½ cup finely chopped coriander

1 long green chilli or 2 jalapenos finely diced

¼ tsp smoked paprika.

2 tsp salt flakes


Drain the vinegar from the onion and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Check for seasoning/chilli and adjust if necessary. Let the pico de gallo sit for at least 15 minutes to let the flavours infuse before serving.

Charred capsicum and corn salsa


Corn from 1 fresh cob

1 large red capsicum charred on the stovetop or bbq (stalk, skin, seeds and pith removed)

1 tsp salt flakes

½ tsp chipotle powder

1TBL olive oil

Juice of ½ lime


Puree all ingredients together in a blender or food processer. Check the salsa for seasoning before serving.

Orange & Thyme Panna Cotta


Downloadable PDF Recipe HERE

Serves approx. 8. Prep time 45min + 4 hours cooling time in the fridge.

This recipe calls for 5 whole oranges. You’ll need the zest of these for the first part of the recipe, reserving the flesh for serving. This sweet treat looks really impressive made in 8 martini or retro dessert glasses and can be made a day ahead of time. The ingredients can be halved to produce 4 desserts.


For the Panna Cotta:

– 1 pinch saffron steeped in 1 TBL boiling water for at least 5 min

– Zest of 5 oranges

– 600ml pouring cream

– 400ml full fat milk

– 2 TBL honey

– 50g caster sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

– 8 sheets (leaves) gelatine (we used mackenzies brand)

– Cold water for soaking gelatine

For the macerated oranges:

– 5 oranges, peeled and segmented

– 1 TBL caster sugar

– 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

– Fresh thyme sprigs for serving (flowering if you can get them!)


Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime, you can start on the panna cotta mixture.

Combine in a medium size pot over a medium heat all the panna cotta ingredients, except for the gelatine and the water it’s soaking in. Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until it starts to steam and small bubbles form around the sides of the pot. DO NOT LET THIS BOIL. Once hot, pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside. Squeeze out the excess water from the bloomed gelatine and whisk into the hot panna cotta liquid until it has completely dissolved. Strain the mix into a jug and wait until it cools to a luke warm temperature before pouring into the dessert/martini glasses. Set these in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Before serving your dessert, combine the segmented oranges, thyme leaves and caster sugar and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Top each panna cotta with the macerated orange segments and some of its juice. Garnish with beautiful thyme sprigs and thyme flowers if you have any.

Pomegranate Gin Sour Cocktail

Downloadable recipe here

Makes 1 cocktail…double or triple as you need 😉 

For the cocktail:

  • Plenty of Ice (approx. 1-1 ½ cups)
  • 30ml of your favourite gin (we used Four pillars)
  • 30ml pomegranate molasses
  • 45ml lemon juice
  • 15ml simple sugar syrup*
  • 1 whole raw eggwhite* (optional)

For the garnish:

  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A scattering of pomegranate seeds from half a fresh pomegranate
  • 4-5 ice cubes for serving


  • 1x short (rocks) glass
  • 1x cocktail/Boston shaker (alternatively you can use a large jar)
  • 1x small strainer
  • 1x manual citrus juicer
  • 1x jigger measure, or other small quantity measure


Combine all cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker (or large jar if you don’t own one) and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, or until the liquid looks light and fluffy. Place your 4-5 ice cubes into a rocks glass and strain the sour mixture over the top. It should look foamy and creamy like cappuccino froth! Beautifully garnish your beverage by sprinkling over a pinch of cinnamon and a small handful of fresh pomegranate jewels.

*Simple sugar syrup is made by stirring together equal parts white sugar and boiling water until the sugar dissolves. Wait until the mixture is completely cool before using in any cocktails.

*Raw eggwhite is optional in this drink, however it is necessary to achieve the light fluffy texture we’re looking for. The proteins from the eggwhite are what stabilises the froth, without it your cocktail will look a little flat and lack creaminess. 

Spring Onion Pancakes

Spring onion pancakes are one of my favourite Chinese dishes – you might think that they’re really hard to make but I’m gonna show you how to whip them up in a jiffy!

These tasty pancakes are best served as part of a shared meal, in a Chinese feast, accompanying meat/fish/tofu or as a snack with an ice-cold beer on their own.

For the full recipe in a downloadable and printable document click here.


For the Dough

1 ¾ cup plain flour

½ cup self raising flour

3 tablespoons coconut oil

¾ cup warm water (plus extra if needed)

1 teaspoon table salt

For Assembling and Cooking Pancakes

3 Spring onions chopped finely (green part only)

3 tablespoons sesame oil for brushing

Table salt for sprinkling

Coconut oil for frying

Extra plain flour for dusting work surface

For the Dipping Sauce

¼ cup light soy sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

½ finely chopped long red chilli (seeds removed if you don’t like it too spicy)

Coriander for garnish (optional)


Combine all dipping sauce ingredients (except coriander) in small bowl, stir and serve garnished with coriander.

To make the dough, place the flours, coconut oil, salt and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes or until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. (If you are finding the mixture a little dry and it doesn’t come together, add 1 teaspoon of warm water at a time until dough forms a ball and comes together).

The dough is done, when it holds a finger indent indefinitely and is smooth and elastic to touch.

Wrap the dough ball in cling film and leave in fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

To assemble & cook the pancakes

Unwrap the dough onto a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll the dough into balls and drape them with a damp tea towel so they don’t dry out as you work.

Lightly flour your flat, smooth work surface and use a rolling pin to roll one of the 6 balls until it reaches 15-20cm in diameter.

Using a pastry brush, cover the entire top surface of dough with the sesame oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and approx. 1 tablespoon of chopped spring onion.

Starting from the edge closest to you, roll pancake away from your body, capturing the filling as you go. It should resemble a skinny, sausage shaped, Swiss roll.

Spiral the sausage shaped dough in to a snail formation. Cover with your damp tea towel to avoid drying out and set aside.

Repeat this process with all 6 portions of dough.

One at a time, using the dough that you rolled first, it’s time to flatten your “snails”. Lightly flour your work surface and using a rolling pin, gently roll your snail in to a flat, round, pancake shape approx. 15-20cm in diameter (the thinner the better!).

Heat 2 tsp coconut oil (on medium heat) in a fry pan. Fry your pancake for 2-3minutes per side, flipping intermittently to ensure the pancake isn’t burning. Once the pancake is crispy and cooked through, cut in to wedges and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

It is helpful to have two fry pans on the go to ensure quick cooking so the first batch of pancakes don’t go cold before the last batch is cooked.

Fig, Goats Curd & Macadamia Salad

Introducing EJ Butler – our gorgeous new Guest Gardenette!

In this video EJ whips up her beautiful Fig, Goats Curd & Macadamia Nut Salad. This fig salad is a great way to celebrate figs and the dressing using WHOLE FIGS to make it rich and creamy is genius! This dressing would be just as amazing on many salads too.

For a downloadable copy of EJ’s full recipe click here 

Fig, Goats Curd and Macadamia Salad

Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal.

For this recipe you’ll need 6 large or 9 small ripe figs in total. This dish is best made when figs are in season, they can be char grilled or caramelized for an extra depth of flavour. This gorgeous salad looks most impressive on a large wooden board or retro serving platter using a layering technique.


For the Dressing:

  • 2 small or 1 large fresh whole fig
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt + ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem

For the Croutons

  • 150g stale sourdough bread (inside part only, no crusts) torn into rough 3cm chunks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Salad

  • 5 large or 7 small ripe figs, quartered
  • 150g goats curd (we used Woodside brand, but Meredith would be fine also)
  • 80g roasted macadamias, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 60g bitter leaves, we used watercress


To make your croutons, preheat an oven to 180 degrees. Place your torn sourdough bread in a roasting tin and massage through the olive oil and salt.  Bake for 10-15 min (or until thoroughly dry), tossing after 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

For the dressing, simply place all your dressing ingredients in a mini food processor and blend together until nice and smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl and set aside.

To make your salad, start by spreading 2/3 of the goats curd on the base of your platter, reserving the rest for garnishing at the end. Sprinkle ¾ of your bitter leaves on the goats curd, and pour over 2 tablespoons of dressing. Liberally scatter the croutons and macadamias and add another 2 tablespoons of dressing. Add the remaining bitter leaves and quartered figs on top and drizzle 1 last tablespoon of that beautiful dressing.  Finally, finish by dolloping the goats curd with a teaspoon for contrasting colour.