Celebrating Kiwi family food – and reviving it with a modern twist – ex-Wairarapa boy, Al Brown shares two favourite recipes from his latest cookbook, Eat Up New Zealand.

Curried Eggs

“I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for curried eggs. Mum used to make them as a ‘pre’ for dinner parties. They were a bit of a mainstay, along with ‘devils on horseback’, tinned asparagus rolls and exotic edible works of art like whole pineapples with a bunch of cheese- and cherry-loaded toothpicks anchoring the spread. Traditional curried egg recipes were pretty standard. As you’ll see, I’ve attempted to take them up a notch or two on the culinary ladder.”

Makes 24

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled 3 tablespoons canola oil

1⁄2 cup (80g / 2 & 3⁄4 oz) finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons curry powder 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 & 1⁄2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Kaitaia Fire

1 cup (250g/9oz) mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To serve

Al suggests delicious garnishes published within Eat Up New Zealand, including the simple option of coriander leaves.


Take a sharp knife and cut the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthways. Carefully remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. Keep the egg-white halves on a tray in the fridge until required.

Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the oil, along with the shallots, ginger and garlic. Stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, sweat the mix for 10-15 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the spices, stir through and cook out for a couple of minutes before adding the contents of the pan to the cooked egg yolks. Let cool. Add the hot sauce, mayo and lemon juice to the egg yolk and spice mixture. Season to taste. Combine with a fork or wooden spoon until soft and creamy.

Place the curried egg mixture into a piping bag. Take the egg-white halves from the fridge and pipe the curried egg mix into the centres. Place in the fridge to keep cool prior to serving.

You’ll see I have put a bunch of ‘to serve’ garnish options, all of which are optional. It’s up to you. I have used all of these and, other than the extra layers of taste that they bring, it’s actually the textural contrast that really adds to the eating enjoyment.



Roasted parsnip salad with goat’s cheese, cranberries and rocket pesto

“This is a terrific combination for a salad. All the flavours are relatively gutsy but harmonise wonderfully well together. Great textures, sweet, savoury, nutty and peppery, it’s got it all going on and eats as good as it looks.”

Serves 6 as a side


1⁄3 cup (80ml / 2 & 1⁄2 oz) canola oil

1 kg (2lb 4oz) parsnips, cut into batons


Rocket Pesto

2 cups tightly packed (70 g/ 2 & 1⁄2 oz) wild rocket leaves

1⁄2 cup (50g / 1 & 3⁄4 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

1⁄4 cup (40g / 1 & 1⁄2 oz) toasted pine nuts

1 garlic clove,  finely chopped 12 basil leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1⁄2 cup (125ml / 4 oz) olive oil


To Serve

1 small red onion, finely sliced

1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves

1⁄2 cup yellow inner celery leaves

1⁄2 cup dried cranberries

1⁄4 cup (40g / 1 & 1⁄2 oz) toasted pine nuts

1⁄3 cup (80ml / 2 & 1⁄2 oz) olive oil 100 g (3 & 1⁄2 oz) goat’s cheese


Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the parsnip in a couple of batches. Cook the parsnip for a couple of minutes on all sides until golden. Remove and place in a roasting pan. Roast for 15–20 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Remove and let cool.

For the rocket pesto, place all the ingredients in a jug-like container (or food processor). Using a stick blender, blitz until incorporated (or use the food processor). Refrigerate until required.

To a large bowl, add the parsnips, onion, parsley, celery leaves, cranberries, pine nuts and olive oil. Toss gently together to incorporate.

Spoon out some of the rocket pesto onto serving plates. Top with the parsnip salad and garnish by crumbling over the goat’s cheese. Serve now.