What's In Season
Eggplant sizzles on the BBQ
Vibrant eggplant is a sensational addition to any summer barbecue.
LIGHT UP THE BARBIE!
Slice eggplant and liberally brush or spray with olive oil.
Arrange eggplant slices on a preheated greased barbecue or char-grill and cook with the lid down to retain moisture for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly charred and tender.
Eggplant burger: Serve barbecued eggplant on a toasted brioche bun with baby rocket leaves, sliced tomatoes and sriracha mayonnaise.
Whip up an Italian eggplant salad: Team barbecued eggplant with sliced bocconcini, chopped cherry tomatoes, rocket and basil with a drizzle of basil pesto.
Sweet Basil & Thai Basil
Despite looking similar, these fragrant herbs are very different in flavour.
This aromatic leafy green herb has an appealing clove-like scent and subtle peppery taste. It’s the key ingredient in the famous basil (Genovese) pesto and naturally partners with Italian cuisine.
Basil teams exceptionally well with tomatoes. The small spikey white flowers are edible. Scatter basil leaves over dishes or add at the end of cooking for maximum flavour.
Fragrant Thai basil is used in South-East Asian cooking including Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. Its anise-like fragrance and slightly spicy flavour adds a vibrant twist to Asian-inspired salads, rice paper rolls and curries.
These herbs flourish in summer and do not like the cold. Wrap unwashed bunches in a few layers of paper towel and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 3-4 days.
A summer salad essential, crisp and colourful capsicum is packed with beneficial vitamin C.
Add chopped raw capsicum to salads or cut into thin strips and serve with your favourite dip. Very versatile, this veggie is also delicious barbecued, stuffed, roasted or slow cooked in a ratatouille.
Choose from sweet red, yellow or orange varieties. The more piquant-flavoured green capsicum is not as sweet.
Opt for plump firm capsicum with vibrant unwrinkled skin. Store in an airtight bag in the vegetable crisper in the fridge and use within 3 days.
Wash and dry capsicum then cut in half and use a small sharp knife to remove all the white membrane and seeds. Cut or slice as required.
Brush prepared capsicums with olive oil (add garlic if desired) and char-grill over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly charred.
Sweet Basil & Thai Basil
Luscious, fragrant and sweet Aussie mangoes signal summertime!
Kensington Pride is the most popular variety. Delicious Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2 are also available during mango season.
Slice the mango downwards very close to the seed to remove the cheeks. Use a sharp knife to partially slice vertical lines about 2cm apart into the mango flesh, cross with horizontal lines. Hold the mango cheek in your hand and press the skin side to invert the mango flesh.
Quick and clever ways to use fresh mango...
- Team chopped mango with finely chopped red onion, coriander and lime juice for a tasty salsa to serve with barbecued chicken.
- Toss sliced mango into a salad with peeled cooked prawns, baby Asian salad greens, sliced green onions (shallots) and coriander or Thai basil leaves. Drizzle with sweet chilli sauce and lime juice.
Fresh and in season
What's best in ...
Fresh Raspberries & Blueberries
Succulent and sweet, fresh raspberries and blueberries are plentiful in summer. They star in this chilled make-ahead dessert.
BERRY, CHOCOLATE AND YOGHURT ICE-CREAM CAKE
STEP 1 Line the base and sides of a 23cm spring-form pan with baking paper. Allow 2L vanilla ice-cream to soften slightly at room temperature.
STEP 2 Place softened ice-cream into a large bowl. Using a large metal spoon, stir in 500g Greek-style natural yoghurt.
STEP 3 Combine 250g raspberries, 150g blueberries and 250g hulled chopped strawberries in a bowl. Reserve 1 cup berries. Add the remaining berries and 200g block of hazelnut milk chocolate (chopped) to the ice-cream mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter with half the reserved berries. Cover and freeze overnight.
STEP 4 Scatter with the remaining berries, slice and serve.
Preparation 20 mins | Cooking 10 mins | Serves 4
Plump fresh eggplant is ideal for vegetarian schnitzels or parmigiana. Once crumbed and cooked, eggplant is tender, mild-tasting and simply delicious served with a drizzle of mayonnaise and lemon juice.
1/3 cup plain flour
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2 plump (about 400g each) eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthways into 1cm thick slices
Olive or canola oil, for shallow frying
Kewpie mayonnaise, mixed salad and lemon wedges, to serve
Step 1 Place flour into a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in another shallow bowl.
Step 2 Dip eggplant into flour, then egg and coat in breadcrumb mixture, pressing breadcrumbs into eggplant.
Step 3 Heat 1cm oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry eggplant, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towel.
Step 4 Arrange eggplant schnitzels on a serving plate. Drizzle with mayonnaise and serve with a mixed salad and lemon wedges.
Ripened to perfection in the warm sun, plump flavoursome tomatoes are an extremely versatile ingredient and come in a myriad of colours, shapes and sizes.
Tomatoes are perfect for salads, pastas, pizzas, burgers, sauces and more. Enjoy tomatoes raw, roasted or lightly charred on the grill.
RIPENING AND STORING
Allow tomatoes to ripen at room temperature until rich in colour. Once fully ripe, store in the fridge. For optimum flavour, serve tomatoes at room temperature.
Sample this season’s hottest varieties…
These plump heart-shaped tomatoes are prized for their intense flavour. The ox-heart variety has few seeds. Slice and serve with fresh mozzarella or burrata, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves.
Sporting blackish-deep purple to olive green skin, these delicious tomatoes have dense juicy flesh. They hold their shape well when chopped or sliced. Team with crumbled feta and peppery rocket leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon dressing for a classic side salad.
CHERRY, MINI ROMA AND TEAR DROP
These small sweet gems are bursting with flavour. Sold loose in punnets as well as trussed on the vine, there’s a vast range of bite-sized tomatoes available. Perfect for snacking, these tomatoes are ideal for the lunchbox and salads. Add a splash of colour to fish or chicken dishes. For a simple side dish, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper then simply roast or barbecue until tender and ultra-juicy.
Ideal in sauces, these egg-shaped fleshy tomatoes are not as juicy as other varieties however are packed with flavour.
They’re also delicious sliced and served on sandwiches, bruschetta and pizzas.