Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting fruity

Ah late summer fruit. My favourite. Everything tastes sweeter and more luscious. And the variety available is seemingly endless.

I’ve previously written about my love affair with Summer Flame peaches, however I’m also enamoured with nectarines – as a speedy breakfast with natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of muesli or a quick lunch sliced in a salad with rocket or watercress, crumbled goats cheese, a few toasted almonds or pecans and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My dessert favourite is finely sliced on butter puff pastry or layers of fillo, sprinkled with sugar and baked to make a galette.

You should also look out for plums – the best from Forbes, Swan Hill and Cobram are coming into season right now – especially Amber Jewel and Black Amber varieties. Eat them fresh or poach them with spicy spices such as cloves, star anise and ginger and serve as an easy dessert with a scoop of vanilla yoghurt or ice-cream. This week a friend served very ripe plums, brushed with egg white and rolled in sugar then frozen for an hour and a half – amazing!

I’m also loving limes right now. They are so cheap and juicy. I bought a bag full on the weekend and have used them in just about everything I’ve cooked and eaten since. Oh and drunk too. Lime & mint mojito anyone? Salad dressings, marinades and squeezed over pawpaw and other sweet fruit – the uses are endless. I’m also going to make a jar of preserved limes to spice up my middle-eastern cooking in the coming months.

I also bought a couple of punnets of plump red strawberries. These were Lowannas – known for their glossy red flesh and white tip when they are at their best. I made a summer crumble with strawberries (no need to pre-cook) spiked with vanilla extract topped with crushed amaretto biscuits. It was delish. Also try serving them like this. Did you read my post about pick-your-strawberries at Riccardo’s near Port Macquarie?

What fruits do you love right now?

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