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Summer Reading and Recipes

Get reading this Summer with some great cooking ideas in tow! Nothing suits better than a novel one hand and a fork in the other. Our staff members have chosen their favourite books and their best recipes to go with them. Pick from one of the ten choices below and get your Camden Reads going!

Choice #1

Green beans, capsicum and fennel salad

2 x 175g punnets baby green beans, topped
3 baby fennel bulbs
340g jar roasted red capsicum strips, drained, finely chopped
50g baby wild rocket leaves
Crusty bread, to serve

Classic Vinaigrette:
2 tblsps olive oil
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil, steam or microwave green beans until they are almost tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water until cold. Drain well.

To make classic vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until combined.

Trim bases and tops from fennel. Discard. Cut fennel into thin slices. Place into a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Vinaigrette will help to prevent the fennel from turning brown.

Add the beans and capsicum to the fennel then toss to combine.

To serve, arrange rocket in a serving bowl. Top with bean mixture. Serve with crusty bread.

Eat it with: Chosen by a horse: how a broken horse fixed a broken heart bySusan Richards

Where: On the back porch.

Choice #2
Mango and Ice Cream Cake


2 litres vanilla ice cream

1 litre mango Weiss sorbet – you can substitute for another flavour and use a complimentary fruit

2 mangoes – flesh removed and diced (or berries if using berry flavoured sorbet)

1 packet mini pavlova nests (10) broken into pieces (about 20c size)


Line a 20cm spring form tin with cling wrap, leaving enough over hang to cover the top of the cake

Place scoops of ice cream and sorbet into the tin

Next layer half of the mango on top of the ice cream

Followed by half of the pavlova pieces.

Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients and smooth the top.

Fold the cling wrap over the cake and give it a little squash to make sure its flat.

Freeze until frozen – this usually takes a couple of hours, so is best made a day or two in advance.

Eat it with: Stories I only tell my friends: the autobiography by Rob Lowe
Where: Somewhere cool and shady

Choice #3




A nip of light rum

12 mint sprigs, or spearmint, 8 roughly broken apart

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons sugar

Lemonade or mineral water
4 slices lime

Place ice in beverage shaker then add in the rum, 8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a  glass. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda.

Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

Drink it with: Kraken by China Mielville
Where: On the beach at twilight.

Choice #4

Oriental Fried Noodle Salad


½ -1 Chinese Cabbage, or ¼ savoy cabbage (shredded finely)

6 Green Onion (chopped 5mm length)

100g Lightly roasted slivered Almonds or Pinenuts

1 pkt Chang’s Fried Noodles 100g (Original or Onion Flavoured)


¼ cup White Vinegar

1/4 cup Castor Sugar

1 tblsp Chang’s Soy Sauce

2 tsp Chang’s sesame oil (Optional)

½ cup Olive Oil


Mix all the ingredients of the Dressing in a bowl. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Combine the Cabbage, chopped Green Onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Just before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.

Eat it with: Death comes to Pemberly by PD James
Where: On the window seat looking out onto the garden.

Choice #5

Peach Iced Tea


3  cans of peach juice

2 litresd tea

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine everything and chill. Serve over ice.

Drink it with:  The courage to start by John Bingham
Where: In a hammock on the beach.

Choice #6

Garlic Prawns (Recipe from Food Ideas)

Ingredients (serves 8)

1/2 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1.5kg medium green king prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact

1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry

1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Crusty bread, to serve


1. Combine oil, garlic, chilli and paprika in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 3 minutes or until oil becomes aromatic. Increase heat to high.

2. Add prawns. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until prawns begin to turn pink. Add sherry and cook for 1 minute or until prawns are cooked through. Remove from heat. Toss through parsley. Spoon prawn mixture into bowls. Serve with crusty bread.

Eat it with: The Pandora English Series (Blood Countess, Spider Goddess) by Tara Moss
Where: In Bed, with the summer breeze lapping at the windows.
Choice #7
Mango Salad


2 medium, firm but ripe mangoes

2 ripe avocados

6 x stripes bacon

2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


2 tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place greens on large platter, arrange strips of mango, avocados and bacon over the top and throw on toasted pine nuts & dressing.

Eat it with: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Where: Under a tree.

Choice #8

Summer Salad

Roast cubes of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes (probably 1 of each per person)

Cos lettuce

Pine Nuts, roasted

Finely sliced capsicum

Sweet corn

Spring onion

Favourite cheese

Equal measure balsamic vinegar and Olive oil for dressing

Oregano, salt, pepper to taste, or Ranch dressing



Put it all together and enjoy!

Eat it with: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Where: In a garden.

Choice #9

Chicken Caesar Salad

1 BBQ chicken (shredded)

1 Cos lettuce (cut into 2-3cm lengths)

4-6 hard boiled eggs (diced)

½ cup of grated parmesan cheese

2 slices of bread for croutons diced into 1cm squares and fried in oil (add garlic if preferred)

2 bacon rashers cut into fine strips and fried until crispy

1 jar of your favourite Caesar Salad dressing

1 tin of anchovies (optional)


Combine the chicken, lettuce, eggs, and bacon in a large serving bowl. Add the Caesar Salad dressing and top with the croutons, parmesan cheese and anchovies if required.

Eat it with: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Where: In a lounge chair.
Choice #10

Ham Stuffed Chicken Breast


4 small chicken breast fillets, skinned (800g)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup (70g) Dijon mustard

2 thin slices prosciutto, halved

60g unsalted butter

1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock

1/2 cup milk

4 potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.. Place chicken breast fillets, opened butterfly-style, skinned-side down on a board. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over each fillet and bat out gently, as thinly as possible without breaking flesh.

2. In a small bowl mix garlic, parsley. Smear mustard on inside of fillet. Top each with prosciutto, and spoon garlic mixture over. Starting with a long edge, roll each fillet as tightly as possible and tie neatly with string in several places.

3. In a baking dish melt 30g butter on medium heat. Add chicken rolls and cook for 3-4 mins, until browned all over. Pour over chicken stock and bake for 10 mins, until juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.

4. Remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside for 5 mins to rest. Remove string. Slice each roll into 2 cm thick slices and arrange on heated dinner plates, spooning cooking juices over.

5. Mashed potatoes or steam

6. Serve with a tossed salad.

Read it with: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
Where: In Air-Conditioning!