FIVE WAYS WITH ROOIBOS THIS CHRISTMAS

The festive season is a time to come together, celebrate and create special memories with the one’s we love.
Whether you’re planning a family lunch or dinner, traditional dishes are certain to find a way onto your table. Roast lamb, grilled salmon and delicious desserts and liqueurs are synonymous with Christmas, but why not add a touch of Rooibos to these dishes?
The strong, yet subtle taste of Rooibos complements just about any meal, whether savoury or sweet, and will have those around the table talking about your Rooibos-themed Christmas well into the New Year.
Here are five delicious tried-and-tested recipes that will give your festive feast a Rooibos lift:

1. Rooibos-infused leg of lamb

  1. Prep the day before – Mix together 15ml Durban masala / curry powder, 5ml turmeric, 30ml brown sugar and 15ml salt (save the rest of each for later). Rub this mixture onto your Excellent Leg of Lamb and make sure that it is evenly coated.
  2. Place the leg into a foil lined deep roasting dish, cover with the rooibos tea. Cover the dish with cling wrap and sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. On the morning of Eid – preheat your oven to 180º.
  4. Drain the rooibos from the roasting dish and reserve 1/2 cup of the rooibos mixture.
  5. In the meantime, place the leg of lamb in the oven for 25 minutes per 500g with an additional 25 minutes.
  6. For the potatoes: coat in a mixture of flour and spices – roast with oil for 45 to 55 minutes with the leg of lamb.
  7. Combined the remainder of the ingredients and then glaze the leg of lamb 30 minutes before the leg will complete cooking.
  8. Remove the glazed leg from the oven and serve.
  9. The rooibos lamb leg will be best served with roasted potatoes and all of your other favourite Eid trimmings.

Courtesy of Excellent Meat Market

2. Rooibos Poached Salmon

Chef Floris Smith developed the recipe during his time as executive chef at Bushman’s Kloof in the Cederberg. We recommend serving salmon with a fresh green salad or lightly seasoned, steamed vegetables.

Serves 4

You’ll need:
800 ml water
10 rooibos tea bags
1 finger of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
5 ml white peppercorns
5 ml coriander seeds, toasted
2 bay leaves
80 ml lemon juice

1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthways, with seeds removed
1 fresh red chilli, with seeds removed
720 g salmon, cut into 180 g portions

  1. In a saucepan, mix the water, tea bags, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaves, vanilla, chilli and lemon juice with a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil, turn down the heat and infuse for three to five minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid back into the saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. Put the salmon fillets into the simmering rooibos liquid and cook for five to seven minutes until medium rare (salmon should still be pink inside).
  5. Remove the fish from the liquid and serve with mashed potato, steamed vegetables and a drizzle of basil pesto.

Recipe adapted from Getaway Magazine by Chef Floris Smith.

3. Rooibos Strawberry Cheesecake

Almond Crust
300g ground almonds
2–3 egg whites, slightly whisked

Filling
10g (1 sachet) gelatine
60–90ml sweetener like Xylitol
250ml cream, chilled
160ml Annique Rooibos Lifestyle Shake (strawberry flavour)
2 x 250g smooth cottage cheese
Strawberries, cut into slices for decoration

Directions for crust
Combine the almonds and egg white and press into the base and sides of an oblong loose-bottomed pie tin.
Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C till slightly straw-coloured and let it cool.

Directions for filling
Sponge the gelatine over 30ml of water and then heat in the microwave oven till dissolved. Do not allow to boil.
Beat the cream, cottage cheese, sweetener and shake well and slowly mix in the gelatine while beating continuously.
Spoon into the prepared crust and chill until set. Decorate with strawberry slices.

Recipe by Carmen Niehaus from You/Huisgenoot/Drum Magazine

4. Rooibos Liqueur (ideal for gifting too)

Ingredients
750ml Brandy
2 cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
750ml strong, hot Rooibos
600g white sugar (750ml)
25ml honey

Directions

  1. Add cloves and cinnamon to the brandy, shake the bottle and allow it to infuse overnight.
  2. Heat sugar and Rooibos tea over moderate heat until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Boil uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in honey.
  5. Remove cloves and cinnamon from the brandy.
  6. Add the brandy to the tea syrup and mix well.
  7. Pour into sterilized bottles and seal.

5. Rooibos & Strawberry Chia Pudding

Serves 4 – 6
3 Rooibos tea bags
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
10 ml (2 tsp) finely grated lemon rind
200 ml boiling water
500 ml (2 cups) plain unsweetened double cream yoghurt
80 ml (⅓ cup) chia seeds
2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
6-8 small strawberries
mint leaves, toasted flaked almonds (see tips) and more berries to garnish

  1. Place tea bags, vanilla and lemon rind in a jug. Add boiling water, stir through and draw to a strong tea. Then allow to cool completely.
  2. Remove tea bags and stir the cooled, seasoned tea into the yoghurt. Add the chia seeds and cinnamon and mix well.
  3. Spoon the Rooibos mixture into individual glasses or serving bowls (about 160 ml per portion). Allow to set for about 30-45 minutes in the fridge. Meanwhile, blend the strawberries to make a purée – don’t be tempted to add sugar.
  4. Just before serving, spoon the strawberry purée over the chia puddings. Garnish with mint, almonds and more berries.

Tips

  1. The Rooibos tea can also be seasoned with a cinnamon stick. Add to the tea bags with the vanilla and remove before stirring into the yoghurt
  2. A naturally flavoured Rooibos tea, like a vanilla, berry or a floral option would be delicious in this dessert.
  3. Toast almond flakes in a dry frying pan, without any oil. Heat over a medium temperature and toast for a few minutes or until golden brown. Take care as they can burn quite quickly.
  4. Chia seeds are available at most health stores and large supermarkets.

Happy holidays!