New season apples have arrived! Hip Hip. I’m going to celebrate by baking four of the new arrivals for pudding tonight. Remove the core a little more than half way through, fill the hole with a tsp of brown sugar, a tiny nub of butter, a clove and dusting of cinnamon. Slit the skin around the centre to prevent the apple from bursting and then place in a small pie-dish with a little water at the bottom. Bake in a low-moderate oven until tender.
We are nearing the end of the stone fruit season so I’m trying to squeeze them in to as many meals as possible. These vanilla-roasted peaches from my JustB post this week are definitely worth a try.
Poached pears are a good friend to venison. I usually just poach them in a simple sugar syrup (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) but a couple of weeks ago splashed out and used brown sugar instead and threw in a few juniper berries. They were great, here’s the recipe.
Beans with honey hazlenut dressing
Our region’s hazlenut season is a few weeks off but if you have any of last year’s stashed away anywhere you could use them up with this great little side-dish…blanch a few handfuls of green beans and meanwhile roast about half a cup of hazlenuts, once cool enough to handle rub with a tea towel to remove the skins and roughly chop. For the dressing mix one part honey to two parts verjuice and bring together on a medium heat. Place the beans on a nice plate, sprinkle with the hazlenuts and pour over the warm dressing.
Broccoli is a staple green in our house but usually it’s just steamed and chucked on the kids plates. In search of inspiration I came across this recipe in the fantastic blog My New Roots; Spicy roasted broccoli with almonds; yum. We had it yesterday with some pan-fried chicken on the side and it really was beautiful.
Make this beautiful Autumnal coleslaw by finely shredding half a cabbage and tossing with finely sliced apple and fennel. Add some roasted and roughly chopped hazelnuts and toss through some olive oil and red wine vinegar and serve with a golden schnitzel. This cabbage salad with apple and caraway also looks great.
Lettuce and fish tacos
Try and separate the leaves of an iceberg or butter lettuce into little cups. Then either steam or pan-fry a few fillets of sweet white fish. Flake the warm cooked fish into the lettuce cups add some cooked corn kernels and a few halved little cherry tomatoes. Squeeze over some lime juice and serve with some minted yogurt on the side. Yummo…fish tacos.
I’m really not a big fan of eggplants, finding them a bit of a ‘carrier’ vegetable but am fond of a good ratatouille. Start by peeling, de-seeding and chopping up four tomatoes. Then heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook one diced onion for a few minutes. Throw in a diced red capsicum and cook for another few minutes. Remove this mixture from the pan and replace with one diced eggplant and another splash of olive oil. Cook for about five minutes, return the onion and capsicum to the pan and stir in the tomato passata (or better yet, the roasted tomato sauce below), add the tomatoes, thyme leaves and stir in a couple of crushed garlic cloves. Serve with roast lamb, through pasta or topped with fetta and baked in a shortcrust pastry shell.
The tomatoes in our garden are only just ripening now….but it’s been that kind of summer. In any case, March is often the time you’ll find big boxes for sale at great prices. Grab one, take it home and cut them all in half. Lay cut side up in baking dishes, preheat the oven to 160C and scatter the tomatoes with sea salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and throw around a few thyme leaves too. Roast until the tomatoes have collapsed and are slightly caramelised on top. Then blitz in a food processor until smooth and you have one big batch of beautiful tomato soup. Use through pasta, thinned with stock for tomato soup, spread over pizzas, dolloped over chicken breasts before baking…I could go on and on and on.