Golden delicious; Anna's organic garden


Anna De Baar grows some of the most beautiful vegetables in our region. Born in Holland, she has spend much of her adult life in Australia, for the past decade in Orange here, at her certified organic vegetable garden. It's an impressive spot with lakes, vineyards and hills on either side, and she populates it with everything from cabbages to cavalo nero and raspberries to radiccio. We visited last week, on the most glorious late Autumn afternoon and came away with some of the above. The raspberries, Anna’s last little handful of the season, went straight into Tom’s mouth before any of us could stop him....greedy little thing he is.... But aside from that little set back, all was good.

As we arrived, Anna had just finished baking a batch of lemon friands for the Orange Farmers Market which was to be held the following day. She is rightly renowned for these friands in our town. It might be something to do with Anna making her own almond meal from toasted organic almonds but really it’s anyone’s guess as the recipe is never disclosed. All I can say is get yourself to the next Orange market or Hawkes General Store in the centre of Orange which stocks them too. And as an aside, the little dried flowers photographed above are hops, which, Anna tells me are usefull not only for making beer but soothing teas too. So if you happen across any fresh hops flowers, dry them out and then place a few in a teapot, cover with boiling water and let steep for five minutes. Drink before bed and sleep peacefully!

But back to vegetables, and once home, we took Anna’s advice on cooking hers, keeping things simple and tasty.

Steamed cavalo nero with chilli
This quick little recipe lets the cavalo nero’s quiet flavour really say hello and is a great side for just a bowl of steamed rice or maybe some poached salmon with a few dry roasted almonds crushed over the top.
1 bunch cavalo nero
salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste
2 tbsp sesame oil
Strip cavalo nero leaves from stalks and place in a steamer or just a colander over some bubbling water. Let steam for about four to five minutes or until the leaves have collapsed and are tender. Transfer to a warm serving plate, toss with the sesame oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

Stir-fried Sugarloaf cabbage with garlic and caraway
These cabbages are, as the name suggests, beautifully sweet and actually, are terrific just served raw and tossed through with the below ingredients. A quick stir-fry though, seems to bring them all together just a bit closer. We had this for dinner to night with a little piece of pork belly each. Our fantastic butcher Michael Borg gave me these cooking instructions for it; cook the  pork belly in it’s cryovac bag in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove from the bag, rub with salt and pepper and then cook in a hot oven (200C) for another 20 minutes or until the crackling is a deep golden brown. 

1 Sugarloaf cabbage
2 tbsp fresh olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove outer leaves from the cabbage and then finely slice. Pour the oil into a large saucepan with a lid and bring to a medium heat, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the cabbage and a couple of tablespoons of water and cook for another minute, stiring well. Cover, reduce heat and cook for five minutes or until the cabbage is tender but not floppy. Transfer to a warm serving plate, sprinkle with the caraway seeds and season to taste.

Anna's beautiful vegetables and friands can be found at the Orange Farmers Market on the second saturday of the month. She also puts together weekly vegetable boxes for people in the Orange area. Please email her for more information.


  1. So inspirational. I can taste the fresh air and general goodness right through your photos! x


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