What's In Season
One of our most-loved summer fruits, plump juicy apricots are at their best in early summer. Their natural sweetness and succulent orange flesh is delicious.
Choose firm apricots with an even colour and no indication of soft patches. The tastiest fruit has an alluring sweet aroma.
Store apricots in a single layer out of direct sunlight at room temperature. To avoid bruising, do not stack in a fruit bowl. They’re ripe and ready to eat when they yield to gentle pressure around the stem. Once ripe, store in the fridge and use within 2 days.
- Pan-fry halved apricots in a little butter and brown sugar until warmed through. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or yoghurt.
- Poach whole apricots in a sugar syrup flavoured with orange rind, a vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until just tender.
- Toss 8 just-ripe apricot in crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of ground coriander and cumin. Stand for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a char-grill or barbecue plate and cook apricots until just charred. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over rocket leaves, feta, toasted almonds and a diced chilli.
The Aussie cherry season lasts around 100 days from November through to late summer so don’t miss out on this prized summer gem. This superfruit not only tastes delicious, it is nutrient rich and contains beneficial antioxidants known to have potential disease-fighting properties.
SUMMER CHERRY SYRUP
Prep 20 mins | Cook 5 mins
- 500g cherries
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup water
Halve and pit 300g cherries. Refrigerate remaining cherries until ready to serve. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Add halved cherries and return to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Place into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.
Top a large pavlova with whipped cream, cherry syrup and grated chocolate or serve over ice-cream.
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.
Warmer weather signals the much-awaited arrival of tropical luscious mangoes. Brimming with vitamins and calcium and a rich source of fibre and potassium, mangoes are an all-time favourite.
Kensington Pride is the most well-known and loved mango variety and it’s available from September until March. It has sweet succulent flesh. Late spring welcomes the arrival of Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2 mangoes. A mango will yield to gentle pressure around the stem when it’s ripe and ready to eat.
HOW TO HONEYCOMB A MANGO
- Place the mango stem-end up on a board and cut down beside the central stone on each side to remove each mango cheek in one piece.
- Place the flesh side-up on a board and slice the flesh at intervals, in both directions down to, but not through, the skin.
- Press the underside and the flesh will open up like a honeycomb, ready for eating.
Fresh and in season
What's best in ...
Creamy mango & passionfruit pops
Celebrate the fun summer days with these super cool pops! They’re a breeze to make using fresh mango and passionfruit. Kids simply love them!
- 3 medium ripe mangoes, peeled and flesh chopped
- 1/3 cup light cream
- 2 passionfruit, pulp removed
STEP 1 Place the mango flesh and cream into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Pour mixture into a jug and swirl through passionfruit pulp.
STEP 2 our mixture into 8 paddle-pop moulds. Gently tap moulds to dislodge any air pockets. Insert a paddle-pop stick into each. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight until firm. Remove pops from moulds and serve.
An excellent source of vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for a healthy immune system. A good source of dietary fibre (important for bowel health). Yellow fleshed nectarines also provide some beta carotene which the body can convert to vitamin A.
CHAR-GRILLED NECTARINE ROCKET & LEG HAM TOASTS
Prep 15 mins | Cook 10 mins | Serves 6
- 4 ripe plump nectarines
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 2 garlic cloves, halved lengthways
- 350g sliced leg ham
- 50g baby rocket leaves
- 1 tbs caramelised balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Step 1 To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake until well combined. Set aside.
Step 2 Heat a char-grill over medium-high heat. Halve nectarines, remove stones and cut into wedges. Spray with oil. Char-grill nectarines for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Spray bread with oil, rub with garlic and char-grill for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden.
Step 3 Place grilled bread onto a board. Top with ham, nectarines and rocket. Drizzle with dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Know your beans
Swap green beans for sweet and crisp yellow butter beans. To cook the beans, plunge into a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes until just crisp. Drain and refresh in cold water, pat dry then add the beans to your summer salads. Alternatively, for a quick side dish, return the beans to the hot dry pan and toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, sea salt and black pepper.
Slender snake beans are sold by the bunch and are in peak season from late summer until early autumn. They’re quite flexible although they feel firm. Chop beans into bite-sized pieces and add to Asian-style stir-fries, soups, curries and salads. To retain crispness and flavour, rapidly cook the beans.
A favourite fresh bean, this stringless variety simply requires the stems to be trimmed before cooking. Like butter beans, they’re best cooked rapidly to retain their delicious crunch and vibrant colour. For a colourful summer combo, cook a mix of green and butter beans.
Wide wavy flat beans are cooked in their pods. Drain and refresh in cold water then pat dry. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil then season and toss with crumbled feta to make a delicious side dish.