Recipes: Easy meal for lunch with friends

Pumpkin, spinach and feta tart with oat and almond crust.
Emma Boyd

Pumpkin, spinach and feta tart with oat and almond crust.

The recipes below can be whipped up in no time with pantry staples. Should friends pop in unexpectedly this weekend, these wonderfully wintry recipes will make the perfect impromptu lunch. Enjoy!

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Serves 6
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes

Pear and ginger upside down cake.
Emma Boyd

Pear and ginger upside down cake.


¾ cup/100g almonds
2 cups/200g oats
750g pumpkin
2 teaspoons olive oil
200g spinach
½ teaspoon sea salt
75g butter, cubed
6 eggs
⅓ cup yoghurt or cream 
50g parmesan or tasty cheese, grated
½ red onion, finely chopped
100g feta cheese
Generous pinch nutmeg, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 30cm tart dish.

Put the almonds and oats into an ovenproof dish and toast for around 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven to cool.

Remove the seeds and skin from the pumpkin, cut into large chunks and put into an ovenproof dish. Pour over the olive oil, season with sea salt, toss and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Wash the spinach and put it into a pot (no need to dry off as it will steam in the water) and heat until wilted. Remove from the heat and cool before squeezing out as much of the liquid as you can. Roughly chop.

Put the oats and almonds into a food processor and process until it resembles a coarse flour. Add the butter, sea salt and 1 egg and process again until it comes together. Turn this mixture out into the tart dish and press it out to line the bottom and the sides of the dish. Blind bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

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Put the remaining eggs, yoghurt/cream and the parmesan/tasty cheese in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and whisk to combine. Add the red onion and chopped spinach and stir. Scatter the tart shell with the pumpkin and half the feta cheese before pouring in the the egg mixture and scattering with the remaining feta cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until set.

Serve scattered with herbs or with sage fried in butter.

Makes 1 cake
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes


100g butter
3 pears, cored, cut into eighths
½ cup/175g + 2 tablespoons honey (or substitute with ¾ cup brown sugar)
2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated
1 cup/150g almonds
1 cup spelt flour (or substitute with white flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
5 eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Heat 25g of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the honey/brown sugar along with the grated ginger in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the pear wedges and cook for 10 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Set aside.

Put the almonds into the food processor and process until it resembles a coarse flour. Add the spelt flour, baking powder and the ginger, and pulse to combine. Tip into a bowl. Cube the butter and put this into the food processor along with the remaining honey/sugar  to cream. 

Add the eggs one-by-one, mixing well after each addition. Arrange the pear slices in the bottom of the cake tin and drizzle over the caramel left in the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour over the pears and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Serve with mascarpone or yoghurt.

Recipes, food styling and photography by Emma Boyd.

 - Stuff

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