What's In Season
Fresh seasonal herbs ...
Aromatic vibrant green mint provides refreshing flavour to green smoothies, salads, rice paper rolls and soups. Add fresh mint to green peas, beans and baby potatoes.
There are several varieties of mint, with common mint and spearmint the most popular types available at your local greengrocer. Select lush bunches with unblemished leaves. Wrap mint in a damp paper towel and store in an airtight container in the crisper. Wash and pick mint leaves just before serving.
Fresh Mint Sauce
- Finely chop 1½ cups fresh mint leaves and place into a medium heatproof bowl.
- Pour over ¼ cup boiling water and stand for 30 seconds, which allows the colour to set.
- Stir in ½ cup white balsamic vinegar, ½ cup caster sugar and ¼ cup redcurrant jelly.
- Season with salt to taste. Stir until the sugar dissolves and serve.
Mint sauce teams perfectly with lamb. It’s also delicious tossed through steamed baby potatoes and green beans.
Green veggie goodness
One of the healthiest foods, broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients and a very good source of dietary fibre. Maximise nutrient retention by rapidly steaming the florets. Simply drizzle broccoli with extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of crumbled feta and toasted mixed seeds for a tasty side dish.
A cross between broccoli and Chinese kale, this vibrant green veggie is packed with beta carotene as well as vitamins C, A and E. There’s no wastage because both the stem and small florets are edible. Brush broccolini with a crushed garlic and olive oil paste then char-grill or barbecue until lightly charred and serve.
A rich source of many nutrients, kale is packed with vitamins C, E and K, plus folate and beta carotene. This crinkly-leafed green also provides iron and calcium. Strip leaves from the stems and chop, then toss in a hot pan with olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped red chilli and a scattering of currants. Heat until the kale wilts, then serve.
Fresh and in season
What's best in ...
How to make zucchini ‘spaghetti’
Long pasta-like zucchini ‘spaghetti’ is low carb, gluten-free and contains fibre. Created from fresh zucchini, it’s very easy to make using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. About 800g zucchini is sufficient to make ‘spaghetti’ to serve 4.
What you'll need
This stainless steel cook’s tool resembles a wide-bladed vegetable peeler with a serrated edge rather than straight blade. Use it to slice the zucchini lengthways into long shreds.
This hand-cranked kitchen gadget is designed to cut vegetables into ‘spaghetti’ or ribbons. Both of these useful tools are available from kitchenware shops.
Roast strawberries with waffles & ice-cream
Preparation 10 mins | Cooking 12 | Serves 4
Sweet and juicy strawberries are a winner with kids.
Rich in vitamin C, the tiny seeds in strawberries also provide fibre. Serve strawberries for breakfast, lunch or snacks. Pop a handful into the school lunchbox.
2 tbs caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract or paste
500g large strawberries, hulled
2 Belgian waffles Reduced fat vanilla ice-cream, to serve
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line the base of a roasting pan with baking paper.
STEP 2 Combine sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add strawberries and stir to coat in mixture. Arrange strawberries in roasting pan. Roast, turning once, for 12-15 minutes until very tender. Stand for 5 minutes.
STEP 3 Toast waffles until hot and cut each in half. Serve warm strawberries with waffles and ice-cream.
Roasted spring veggies with gremolata crumb
Preparation 35 mins | Cooking 30 mins | Serves 4 as a side dish
This sensational salad sings spring! It’s easy to prepare and healthy to boot.
8 (200g) zucchini flowers, trimmed
100g Persian or marinated feta, drained and roughly mashed
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch thick asparagus, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 sprigs thyme
olive oil cooking spray
250g mixed truss or heirloom tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
½ cup fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Gently ease open a zucchini flower’s petals and fill with 1 tsp feta, wrap petals around filling and gently twist to seal. Repeat using remaining zucchini flowers and feta.
STEP 2 Arrange zucchini flowers, onion, garlic, asparagus and thyme in a large non-stick roasting pan. Liberally spray with oil, gently tossing to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Toss through tomatoes and roast for a further 10-12 minutes until tomatoes are tender.
STEP 3 Meanwhile, to make gremolata crumb, heat oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and garlic and cook, stirring often, until crumbs are golden. Remove from heat and stir through lemon zest and parsley. Sprinkle roasted vegetables with the gremolata crumbs and serve.
Super nutritious and brimming with beneficial antioxidants, sweet plump Australian-grown fresh blueberries are the ideal low kilojoule snack. No preparation is required, simply rinse in cold water and they’re ready to eat in a range of ways.
TO BUY: Choose deep-purple plump blueberries with a pale blush. Avoid berries with wrinkling skin.
SUPERCHARGE YOUR BREAKFAST WITH BERRIES
- Layer blueberries with muesli, toasted coconut and vanilla yoghurt.
- Sprinkle blueberries over pancakes with fresh ricotta and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Add a handful of blueberries to your favourite breakfast smoothie.
- Team blueberries with strawberries, papaya and oranges in a delicious vitamin C-rich fruit salad, topped with a dollop of plain yoghurt.
Sweet red-fleshed papaya is now available at your local greengrocer. Leave whole papaya to ripen at room temperature. Wrap cut papaya in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Use within 2 days.
KICK START YOUR DAY WITH A FRESH TROPICAL FRUIT BREAKFAST SALAD
Peel ½ medium ripe deseeded papaya, 1 ripe mango and ½ small pineapple. Cut the fruit into slices and arrange on a serving platter. Combine ½ cup sweetened natural yoghurt with 1 tbs lime juice and 1 tsp finely grated lime zest. Drizzle lime yoghurt over the fruits and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serves 4.