Special offer on Karen Dudley’s Set A Table cookbook

One of Cape Town’s best-known foodie destinations, The Kitchen in Woodstock, has become a victim of Covid-19, which has made it impossible for Karen Dudley and her team to keep the restaurant open.

One of the most famous visitors, and there have been many over the years, has been America’s former First Lady. Michelle Obama, who stopped by for a meal when she accompanied her husband Barack Obama a few years ago.

Now to help the team while they chart separate futures, Jacana which have published all three of Dudley’s much-acclaimed cookbooks will donate the proceeds of any copies sold of Set A Table during June and July to the Kitchen team. Jacana is offering Set A Table at a special price of R200 and free delivery to any address within South Africa. Email: sales@jacana.co.za to place your order.

To whet your appetite here are some recipes from the book.

Venetian Orange & Almond Cake

This cake is great for friends who are gluten intolerant. When I first tasted it I felt like I was bathing in a beautiful pond of orange with just my head surfacing to coo: “Oooh. This is soooo deliciousssss!”.

  • 2 oranges
  • a little oil
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 400 g castor sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 250 g ground almonds (you can grind your own almonds in a food processor)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp cream

Place the oranges in a large saucepan with plenty of water and boil gently for 2 hours. Set the oranges aside till cool enough to handle. Reserve the cooking liquid for making the syrup.

Grease a 26 cm cake tin with oil and line with baking paper.

Whip the brown sugar, half the castor sugar and the eggs in your electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roughly cut the oranges into pieces, removing any pips.

Blend in a food processor along with the ground almonds and the baking powder. Add the orange mixture to the beaten egg mixture and mix through gently to combine.

Pour the smooth cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 1hr 20mins. Test the cake by skewering the centre with a clean metal skewer. If it comes back out clean and dry, then the cake is cooked. It may need 10 minutes more.

Measure the reserved orange water and top up the liquid level to 750 ml. Pour into a large saucepan. Add the remaining castor sugar and the zest of an orange, cut into very thin strips, along with its juice. Bring to a fierce boil for 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Mix the mascarpone with the cream.

To serve, put dollops of mascarpone cream beside each slice of cake and pour the orange syrup over both the cake and the cream.

Serves 12–14

Roasted Cauliflower Larb

This recipe comes from Bon Appétit magazine. When I was in New York with my family we made a pilgrimage to One World Trade Centre, where their offices are based. We stared up at the magnificent glittering high-rise pinnacle piercing the blue sky and I thought about pressing the doorbell and saying, “Hey, can I come up for a visit? I’m a big fan!” It was the fourth of July holiday weekend and everyone was away. (We ended up having the best party on a riverside rooftop, dancing to a live Latin band and watching fireworks over the Hudson River.) This Southeast Asian favourite, usually made with minced pork, is an inspiration!

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, thoroughly washed and cut into large florets with stalk and tender cauliflower leaves attached
  • 1–2 green chillies, finely chopped (start small and add more to taste)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, very finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup glutinous (sticky) rice (we have done this with fragrant rice and it
  • does not seem to harm the dish)
  • 5 spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup pea shoots (tendrils)
  • ½ cup watercress
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 1 cup mint
  • flaked sea salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 Israeli cucumbers, sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 baby gem lettuces, leaves pulled from stalk, larger leaves trimmed (so as to be manageable eating devices)

Crank your oven to 220°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Pour the oil onto the baking sheet and toss the cauliflower florets with the oil using your fingers. Spread the cauliflower over the whole baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 35–45 minutes tossing occasionally so that the cauliflower is beautifully coloured all over. Set aside on the baking sheet and allow to cool slightly.

Chop the cauliflower (with leaves and stalks) into pea-sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl with the chillies, lemongrass, fish sauce and lime juice. Toss well.

In a pan set over medium heat, toast the rice, shaking the pan constantly to keep the rice moving, until evenly browned, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool. Grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder to a semi-fine powder. There will be gritty bits. Strangely, this will give great texture to the mixture.

Add the sliced spring onions, bean sprouts, pea shoots, watercress, coriander, mint and 2 teaspoons of the rice powder to the cauliflower. Season with the flaked sea salt and white pepper.

When you are ready to serve add the sliced cucumber and the remaining rice powder. Lay out the baby gem lettuce leaves on a serving platter and spoon a dessertspoon of the Roasted Cauliflower Larb onto each lettuce cup.

Makes salad for 8, canapes for 16–20

Beetroot Carpaccio

More and more of us want vegetable led dishes that are robust in flavour and stand on their own. We began making this dish with beef carpaccio (inspired by our favourite chef, Diana Henry). Truly delicious… but then felt like we wanted a vegetable alternative. Let the beetroot sing to you, with horseradish, lentils and dill as the backing vocals!

  • 3 tsp vinaigrette
  • 6 cooked medium beetroots (you could cheat and buy them ready prepared)
  • 3 tsp fresh horseradish, finely grated or 3 tsp bottled horseradish
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp water
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 5 tbsp cooked lentils, tossed with 1 tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 radishes, very finely sliced
  • 4 tsp dill, picked

Pour the vinaigrette onto a large plate. With a thin, sharp knife, slice the beetroot into delicate slices and lay carefully on the vinaigrette for flavouring and seasoning. Transfer the slices carefully to individual salad plates or a serving platter. Arrange the slices so they are artfully overlapping, allowing for roughly 6–7 slices per person for a starter portion.

Combine the horseradish and crème fraiche in a bowl and season with salt and white pepper. Add water to soften the horseradish cream slightly. Toss the lentils with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

Drizzle the horseradish cream over the scales of beetroot and sprinkle on some of the lentils. Garnish the Beetroot Carpaccio with the radishes and the picked dill fronds. Finish with a grinding of black pepper and let the beetroot speak!

Serves 8–10

Marinated Seared Leg of Lamb with Anchovy Mayonnaise

Since Karoo lamb is such a South African favourite, I offer here three ways to serve a marinated, seared leg of lamb: with Anchovy Mayonnaise, with a Tomato Fennel “Boulangere” and Anchovy Parsley Relish and with Harissa Figs & Plenty Lentils. Use the method below for preparing the lamb for all three recipes.

There are many good ways of preparing lamb for a dinner party but this method is reliable and easy (since it’s served at room temperature) so there’s no last minute flapping. This versatility gives you more time to focus on what you will choose to accompany it. In this case anchovy mayo. Anchovy and rosemary are an age-old way of preparing lamb, popular even in Roman times. So don’t be afraid! Lamb loves anchovy.

  • a deboned, butterflied leg of lamb (about 2.5 kg)
  • 1 tbsp your favourite rub or grill seasoning
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 


  • 3 stalks of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil


  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 50 g anchovies
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ lemon

Prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients. Lay the butterflied leg of lamb in the marinade, making sure the joint gets maximum exposure to it. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Before roasting, be sure to take the marinating lamb out of the marinade, allowing it to come to room temperature – a good hour or 2.

To make the Anchovy Mayonnaise, blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor or in a jug with a hand-held blender.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Heat your largest pan on high heat till it is very hot. While the pan is heating, season the joint generously all over with the rub or grill seasoning. Pour the vegetable oil into the pan (it should be smokey hot) and using good kitchen tongs, sear the whole leg, fat side down first. Use the tongs manfully and be sure to sear the whole leg so that you lose minimal juices during roasting.

Place the seared leg, fat side up, onto a baking pan and roast in the oven for 40–45 minutes. Allow the leg to rest for a good while before carving it with a long thin carving knife into the thinnest slices you can. Arrange the meat on a serving platter or on individual plates and drizzle over the mayonnaise.

Serves 7–8

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