for mothers old & new

bbq tuna steaks with pretty pomegranate & coriander

They say that often when one door closes, another opens and I’m thankful that in my experience this does seem to be the case. You see in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day last Sunday, I’ve found my thoughts turning to my own beautiful mother who passed away back in August last year. There have been some sad moments but mostly I’ve just been thinking about how much I miss her and wish she was still here.

So rather than us all feeling sad and sorry on the day set aside for spoiling mothers with flowers and breakfast in bed, my sister had the great idea for us all to get together and have a little celebration lunch for our mum. With two of my siblings also based in Sydney, we managed to persuade the two country mice to travel to the big smoke for lunch on arguably the best balcony in Sydney.

As it turned out, there was no shortage of mothers at our little luncheon. A few weeks before I had a call from my newly-wed sister Sas who out-of-the-blue asked if it would be OK if we kept shellfish off the menu. Not one to let such things go unnoticed, I queried her as to whether we should also give the soft cheese a miss, and that possibly she mightn’t be up for any Champagne??

‘Gee Sas, are you trying to tell me that I’m going to be an Aunty….YAY!’

But that wasn’t all on the new family members front. My youngest sister, Nao had also recently enjoyed an addition to her family in the form of a cute-as-a-button beagle puppy, complete with massive ears and an inquiring nose. Talk about puppy love.

So what to serve for a lunch to celebrate the mothers in our midst, both old and new? A few of Mum’s favourite things: Champagne and fish of course. BBQ yellowfin tuna steaks with a pretty crowning of pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves served with a nutty, zesty wintery take on tabouli with roasted cauliflower, burghul and shaved fennel …all good things.

a luncheon for mothers old & new
dukkah with olive oil & sourdough
bbq tuna steaks with pretty pomegranate & coriander
winter tabouli
mum’s passionfruit slice, made by Sas.


bbq tuna steaks with pretty pomegranate & coriander
serves 8
Adapted from Casa Moro the Second Cookbook by those clever Londoners Sam & Sam Clark.

I’ve included the drizzle of pomegranate molasses here because that’s what I had in the photo but to be honest, if you are serving with the winter tabouli there’s enough sweet pomegranate punch from the marinade and tabouli to complement the fish.

This also works well with chicken if you happen to be catering for a newly acquired
non-pescatarian brother-in-law.

8 tuna steaks, approx 150g each
for the marinade:
1 clove garlic, peeled & finely chopped
6T pomegranate molasses
1t ground cinnamon
2T extra virgin olive oil
to serve:

8t pomegranate molasses
8t best quality extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh coriander, leaves picked.
pretty seeds of 1 small pomegranate

Combine marinade ingredients and season. Add fish and allow to stand for 10mins to an hour. Preheat bbq on high. Sear tuna for a few minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. I like to leave mine pink in the middle, but if you’re catering for a pregnant lady probably best to cook hers through.

To serve, place a steak each on warmed dinner plates and drizzle each with a teaspoonful of oil and pomegranate molasses. Scatter over seeds and coriander leaves.

winter tabouli
serves 8

Adapted from Casa Moro the Second Cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark.

I just love the flavours and textures in this salad. The shaved fennel adds lots of lightness and crunch so if you were in the mood for something a little more substantial, you could leave it out. Great with grilled fish or chicken or even lamb and I wouldn’t mind trying it with some gently pan fried haloumi.

1 small cauliflower
2T olive oil
1t baharat (see here for recipe)
1 bunch mint, leaves picked & torn if large
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
200g burghul, soaked in warm water for 10mins then drained
1 medium bulb fennel, shaved lengthwise with a mandoline
2 handfuls almonds, roasted & chopped
seeds 1 small pomegranate
for the dressing:
½ clove garlic, peeled & finely chopped
4T pomegranate molasses
2T water
8T extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C. Cut cauliflower into bight sized florettes. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle over baharat and salt & pepper. Roast for 30-40mins, stirring occasional until cauliflower is golden and cooked though.

Combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl except almonds and seeds. Toss together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl or cup. Season the dressing and dress your salad. Serve with seeds and almonds sprinkled over.

My glamorous mum (centre) having fun in Acapulco


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