Food and Drink


Lessons from the Thermomix

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Unless you’ve been living in a publication cave for the last decade, then you would have heard of Dani Valent. A seasoned food reviewer and travel writer, Dani started her career at Lonely Planet penning travel reviews after she was asked to write a book in Lonely Planet’s World Food Series on Turkish food. Dani’s been wording up Melburnians about all things yum ever since. Her restaurant reviews can be found, among other places, in The Sunday Age and the charming ‘I cook’ pages in Melbourne Magazine.

But what few would know is that Dani is one of the worlds leading aficionados of that juggernaut machine, the Thermomix. If you have not secretly prayed for this ultimate gadget then your time is yet to come. Dani was working on a feature about chefs and their favourite kitchen tools, so she set out on a mission to learn, booked in a demonstration and was hooked.

After thumbing through other Thermomix cookbooks and realising the domesticity of these publications, Dani wanted to showcase the might of the machine with a more contemporary and professional book which challenges the home cook and chef alike.

In The Mix – Great Thermomix Recipes took 12 months to coordinate and write. Although Dani isn’t directly affiliated with Thermomix, she has a strong relationship with the Swiss-based company, who support her work. The book is independently written with the majority of the recipes submitted by chefs and bloggers, with a smattering of Dani’s own creations.

You would think that after a year of hard work alongside her journalistic ventures Dani would want to slow down, but on the contrary, she says there is another In the mix book on the way, with the focus on European flavours. Dani’s almost completed a tour of Australia to demonstrate recipes from the book, with a European tour scheduled for next year.

So where to now Dani? “Back home to make some bread”. Of course she is. But before she’s off Dani’s shared one of her favourite recipes.

Beetroot, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad.

This fresh, relaxed Middle Eastern rendition of the famous Thermomix chopped salad comes from Melbourne chef Troy Payne, a long time protégé of Greg Malouf, now cooking at the Post Office Hotel. It’s great with grilled meats and will guarantee a second invitation if you bring it along to a barbecue.

Time: 10 minutes. Serves 8

3 medium or 2 large beetroots, peeled and quartered
35 grams olive oil
80 grams pomegranate molasses
10 grams rosewater
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
10 grams chives
10 grams mint leaves
10 grams parsley leaves
10 grams dill
80 grams shelled pistachios
1 pomegranate, quartered

Put all the ingredients, except pistachios and pomegranate seeds, into the TM bowl.

Chop for 2 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down. Chop for another 2 seconds/speed 5.

Tip into a salad bowl and scatter over the pistachios.

Place pomegranate quarters in TM bowl (no need to wash).

Mix for 2 seconds/Reverse/speed 4 to knock seeds from pomegranate. If necessary, mix for 1 more second to extract more seeds.
Pick pith and peel from the bowl and scatter seeds over salad.

If the pomegranate is soft and the pith has dispersed you can add water to the TM bowl, let the pith float to the surface and scoop it out before straining the remains and using the seeds.


In the mix – Great Thermomix Recipes can be booked and purchased from

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