Food fit to feed a crew

Recently I had the pleasure of preparing the "provisions" for a sailing party on Sydney Harbour. Catering for any event "en plein air" such as a picnic or sailing day is always tricky and while our boat had a fantastic kitchen, I was keen to keep the actual cooking to a minimum. In this post I thought I would share with you a couple of dishes, which were a big hit on the day - and can be prepared easily in advance for any outdoor adventures - especially those on the high seas!!

Spanish spiced almonds; hot & spicy Harissa olives

To start, Spanish spiced almonds and Harissa marinated olives were passed around on deck, along with glasses of Blanquette de Limoux. I prefer using the mild (not too hot) "Le Phare du Cap Bon" harissa (otherwise known as The Good Cape Lighthouse of Cap Bon), which is from Northern Tunisia and can be bought here in Australia and overseas - but you could always make your own.

Hot & spicy Harissa olives
2 cups kalamata olives
6 garlic cloves (sliced)

2 tsps harissa (north african spice paste)

3 tsps fresh thyme leaves

3 tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 fresh bay leaves


1. Gently heat the oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and Harissa paste in a pan over low heat for 3 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

2. Add the olives, toss gently to coat, and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm through. Serve warm or at room temperature with an aperitif.

Sydney rock oysters with pico de gallo

Next came a smoked salmon roulade, made with buttermilk pancakes and Sydney Rock Oysters with pico de gallo (salsa fresca).

Oysters with pico de gallo

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup corriander, finely chopped

1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1 tbs fresh lime juice



1. Combine all ingredients; cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Spoon over chilled oysters and serve immediately.

The main event

Then there was the main event, which included pear and quince glazed ham, chickens roasted with truffles, lamb with pomegranate and green olive dressing and a range of salads from cumin roasted cauliflower with olives and Israeli couscous to potato mint and roasted pistachio. On the day, I was asked to share the recipes for the both the lamb and red cabbage salads - so here they are!!

Red cabbage, apple, mint & beetroot salad

Red cabbage, apple, mint & beetroot salad

1 large beetroot, cooked peeled and cut into julienne

1 small red onion, shaved thinly on a mandolin

1/2 red cabbage, shaved thinly on a mandolin

2 granny smith apples, cut into julienne and soaked in lemon juice, some reserved for garnish

1/2 cup shredded mint leaves, plus extra for garnish

1/2 cup, chopped and toasted walnuts


1 tbs sour cream

2 tbs lemon juice

3 tbs olive oil

Sugar, salt & pepper, to taste


1. Combine all of the salad ingredients, except walnuts, in a bowl.

2. To make the dressing, mix all of the ingredients together until smooth and pour over salad. Mix well to combine.

3. Top salad with walnuts and reserved apple and mint.

Lamb with pomegranate and olive dressing

2 lamb backstraps

2 tbs ground cumin

2 cloves garlic crushed

Olive oil, salt & pepper


1 cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 tbs pomegranate molasses

1 tbs lemon juice

1 medium pomegranate


1. Brush the lamb with olive oil and roll in cumin, salt, pepper and garlic.

2. Heat a frying pan until very hot and sear the lamb on both sides.

3. Put the lamb in a moderate pre-heated oven and cook for about 10 mins. Remove the lamb, cover in foil and rest for about 15 mins.

4. To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and then spoon over the sliced pieces of lamb.

5. Squeeze the pomegranate seeds and juice over the lamb and dressing. Serve immediately.

There were also some little finishing touches to the day including a delicious truffled pecorino and some chocolate dipped figs and strawberries.

Sydney Harbour Escapes

We arranged our boat charter through Sydney Harbour Escapes who can organise cruises, charters, luxury boat hire, self drive boats and more!

(02) 9328 4748


  1. Beautiful, vibrant picnic food! Isn't Sydney Harbour just magnificent?

    1. Thanks Jane, love the harbour - I agree, truly magnificent!!

  2. Hehe I bet you'd have people banging on the cabin door to get an invite to this! Mrs Mulberry! :D

    1. Haha, thanks Lorraine - the feast was all very "Horatio Hornblower" : )

  3. A wonderful party! The food looks amazing and absolutely mouthwatering. I particularly like that beetroot salad.



  4. Holy cow what a spread! It must have been a big boat. We used to have a cruiser down there and 40' wouldn't have been big enough for all that food. Well done and how lucky were the guests!

    When I get rich I want to do this. :) There's nothing that doesn't look perfect!


Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate every single one!

© Mulberry and Pomegranate
Maira Gall