Alfresco dining – Best of Zululand

Alfresco dining

Take it outside

Serve it outdoors and drink in a little fresh air, open space and a slower pace of life.




Chef Reuben Riffle and Robertsons have just the nibbles:


Mid-Summer Lunch Salad

Image and recipe courtesy Reuben Riffle and

For the dressing:

  • 175 ml natural yogurt
  • 5 ml Robertsons Crushed Garlic
  • 15 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 15 ml water
  • Robertsons Atlantic Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients together, season and set aside.

For the vegetables:

  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 10 ml Robertsons Crushed Chillies
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears
  • A few vine cherry tomatoes

Combine oil and Robertsons Crushed Chillies. Rub mixture over corn.

Cook on a very hot griddle pan until charred on all sides.

Remove and in the same pan, char-grill asparagus for a few minutes on each side, set aside, then grill tomatoes. Cut corn kernels off cooled cob.

For the spiced chicken:

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 ml Robertsons Ground Cumin
  • 5 ml Robertsons Paprika
  • 4 large chicken breast fillets

Mix oil and spices together, brush over chicken fillets cook in same pan as the vegetables for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Remove chicken from heat, rest and slice.

Arrange all ingredients (including 1 red onion half and 1 packed mixed salad leaves) on a platter.

Season and drizzle with yogurt dressing.


Tuna cakes with yogurt sauce

Image and recipe courtesy Reuben Riffle and


  • 500 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 425 g tuna in spring water, drained
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon rind finely grated, juiced
  • 5 ml Robertsons Parsley
  • 5 ml Robertsons Lemon Pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 85 ml fat free natural yogurt
  • 3 ml Robertsons Crushed Garlic
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 80 g baby salad leaves

Boil the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until just tender when tested with a skewer. Drain well.

Return the potato to the hot saucepan and shake over low heat for 1-2 minutes to dry.

Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

Flake the tuna and add sweet potato, onion, lemon rind, parsley and pepper. Stir to combine.

Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and shape each into a patty. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. This allows patties to firm up.

Preheat oven and a flat baking tray to 200°C.

Place the patties onto a sheet of baking paper and lightly spray both sides with olive oil. Slide patties (still on the paper) onto the hot tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Combine the yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and garlic in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Combine the cucumber and salad leaves and pile onto serving plates. Serve with the patties and yogurt sauce.


Show some love

Get your outdoor living area fit for lazy living with Hertex’s In The Open collection of rugs, suitable for both the indoors and out. Easy to clean and UV protected to prevent colour fading, the Terrace, Portico, Plaza and Esplanade designs resemble faded traditional patterns, feel great and look even better.

Up your al fresco dining game

A picnic packing checklist to take your next picnic to the next level

  • Choose casual foods that can be eaten without utensils
  • Pack everything in lightweight resealable containers.
  • Keep everything chilled with refreezable ice packs.
  • Take a cool box of ice too, for drinks.
  • Don’t forget the kid-friendly drinks, as well as the adult beverages.
  • Don’t forget condiments such as salt, pepper, sauces and mustards. Where you can, collect a few small jars that you can use for these as permanent accessories in your picnic basket.
  • You’ll need cups, plates, glasses and cutlery – as well as serving utensils. Decide whether to invest in lightweight reusable picnic services, or whether to go for paper and bin them when you’re done.
  • Cutting board, cheese board, cutting knife, cheese knife, corkscrew/bottle opener and napkins.
  • Bags for litter, dirty dishes, moist wipes, paper towels.
  • Blanket, insect repellent, sunscreen, ball and picnic basket.

Buzz off

Keep flies away with this ridiculously easy trick

Take a few glasses of water, pop a few coins in the bottom of each, spread around the food. Flies, it is believed, think the coins are compound eyes of much bigger bugs, and stay out of reach.


Ditch the itch

Smother your body in lavender essential oil. Not only do mozzies not like the smell, but it soothes any bites when they’ve got to you before you got to them!


Outdoor 2017

Seven trends you need to know – compliments of

Natural materials

After years of minimalist and geometric dominance in décor, design and landscape design, an older fashioned, organic, free form, DIY look is creeping back. Think softer lines, free form decks, swing seating, tactile and natural materials such as wood and stone and winding paths.

Photo courtesy Scott Shigley

Colour Blocking

Colour blocking – the use of discrete blocks of colour – is trending in outdoor living spaces. It’s used to frame or highlight a particular area, feature or plants. Think a dash of colour on a wall framing a row of pot plants or an outdoor sofa. It’s very inexpensive to do – try a lick of paint, a solid colour outdoor rug, or outdoor curtains will create the effect.


Just as locally sourced products continue to trend in many industries, landscape designers are finding that requests for endemic plants are increasing. Endemics (native to a very local ecosystem) make huge sense as the effects of climate change continue to make an impact.


Lawn Reborn

As large, manicured lawns continue to suffer the effects of water shortages, and get frowns from those concerned about chemical fertilisers and pest control, lawn-like alternatives such as grass mixes that don’t need to be mowed are growing in popularity. Lawns are getting smaller too, with faux grass being in high demand for play and pet areas.

Photo courtesy Tait Moring


Mix and Match

While a few years ago, people would choose a style and stick to it, a mix of old and new is trending in garden spaces. No longer about being modern or traditional, it’s now about how artfully you blend the two in your outdoor space.

Play Spaces

Playing is no longer just for the kids, adults are commissioning play spaces too – think bocce and other game courts, dining areas, fireplaces and hammocks. And for the kids, it’s spaces that encourage imaginative play – places they can create, build and dig rather than climb on a man-made structure.

Photo courtesy Barbara Ries


Dwarf Shrubs

As garden sizes get smaller (due to water shortages and increases in built areas) so the demand for evergreens and dwarf varieties is increasing. The horticulture industry is fast developing plants that fit – so keep a look out for great new dwarf varieties and interesting new ground covers and fillers.

Photo courtesy Land Morphology



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