In the seasonal mood for good food

2010-09-03 08:36

The Ras sisters are an institution in Kloof. Neil Coppen checks out their seasonal kitchen.

Since it opened in 1998, Sprigs has remained a hugely popular coffee shop and deli in Kloof.

In fact, one could say that the ­owners – twin sisters Fiona and Clare Ras – are the closest thing KZN has to celebrity chefs.

Scouring the freshest produce from the best suppliers in ­Durban, the Sprigs sisters maintain that their restaurant is a seasonal one, with their food ­defined not just by the seasons of the year, but by the seasons of their moods.

Luckily for regulars, their ­culinary moods change frequently and the menu is constantly evolving and changing.

Sample the popular buffet lunch and make sure you don’t leave without sipping one of the finest cappuccinos the province has to offer alongside a slice of insanely tasty cake.

The Sprigs Deli has some deliciously cooked meals to take home and bake in the oven, and a great all-year-round gift idea is the sisters’ popular range of recipe sheets and cookbooks (R195).
Currently an in-store bestseller is Sprigs: Fresh Kitchen Inspiration and Sprigs: Entertain packed from cover to cover with some of the chefs’ favourite recipes.

If, like me, you consistently struggle with making recipes a reality – the finished product seldom ends up looking like the picture in the book – then sign up for a few courses in the ­adjoining demonstration kitchen, where the sisters are on hand to impart some of their highly sought-after cooking secrets.

» Visit the Sprigs website for more ­information 031 764 6031

We asked the Ras sisters to share a scrumptious recipe with us. They recommend serving this as a starter or with a piece of grilled fish or chicken.

Sweet potato, pea, asparagus and almond salad

»?2 oranges (zest and juice)
»?60ml fromage frais
»?30ml natural yoghurt
»?45ml walnut oil
»?Salt and black pepper
»?1kg sweet potatoes
»?250g fresh peas
»?1 bunch of asparagus, blanched in boiling water
»?250g rocket
»?12 whole almonds
»?10g coriander
»?10g chives
»?5ml Szechwan peppercorns
How to make it
Cut the sweet potatoes into discs and boil in salted water until tender, drain and set aside.
To make the dressing, lightly whisk the orange zest and juice, fromage frais, yoghurt, walnut oil, salt and pepper together.
Combine the drained sweet potato, blanched asparagus, cooked peas, rocket, toasted ­almonds, coriander leaves, snipped chives, toasted and ground Szechwan in a large bowl and toss together well. ­Arrange on a platter and serve.
Serves 8.

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