Friday, 16 August 2013

in season: august

It may technically still meant to be winter, but with weather like this, you'd be forgiven for exposing that pale, pale skin and heading to the beach. Nevertheless, there are some pretty awesome winter fruits and vegetables still kicking about, so here are three you should look into and what to do with them. 

1. Blood Oranges

Seemingly innocuous on the outside, dramatically ruby red on the inside - blood orange season is well and truly upon us. Sweeter than your average orange, they're perfect to peel, slice and add to salads (pairs really well with aniseedy fennel, peppery rocket or cream mozzarella), popping in cocktails or simply squeezing fresh. 

2. Brussels Sprouts

Everyone has a bad memory of the sprouts from Brussels from their youth. If you grew up in Australia, it's a fairly sure bet that someone screwed them up for you and over boiled them, turning what can be a glorious vegetable into a grey, farty mess. But give them another shot: Wash, halve and blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, then drain. Transfer into a baking try, toss in butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes until the outsides are crisp and nutty. I dare you to hate them after you try them like this. 

3. Cabbage

Another vegetable with a bad wrap for being mistreated by cooks who don't know any better. They're awesome roasted (Cafe Paci does theirs with smoked marrow and mussel butter), pickled and even finely sliced fresh in salads - take a red cabbage, finely slice it, along with some grated carrot, and finely sliced button mushrooms and radishes. In an old jam jar, pour a good slug of olive oil, salt, pepper, a tablespoon of mirin, the same again of soy, a few drops of sesame oil and a generous pinch of raw sugar. Pop on the lid. Shake, it baby. Season to taste. Pour over the salad and mix to combine. Serve with BBQ'd meats or seafood.