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Serve up these seasonal summer delights

24 November, 2014

There is something deliciously exciting about the approach of summer. The flowers come out, vegetables are growing, and fruit is ripe and tasty. Although in Australia we do get some imported fruits all year round, there’s nothing more wonderful than biting into a fresh piece of home-grown fruit that hasn’t spent months in cold storage somewhere.

Fruits like the various types of melons and berries are grown best in summer, and vegetables such as capsicum, cucumber, celery, lettuce, and sweetcorn are wonderful seasonal summer vegetables.

Adorn your next BBQ or family and friends gathering with these yummy recipes we have set out below to celebrate what’s in season this summer.

Summer Berries recipe

This Summer Berries recipe is an easy way to bite into some fresh seasonal berries. The portions below are to serve 8 people, so adjust as necessary if you are feeding less people – or make the same amount and have it for leftovers tomorrow!

Ingredients

  • 500g strawberries
  • 250g raspberries
  • 250g blueberries

NB: These portions can be mixed and matched to suit your own tastebuds, such as more blueberries and less strawberries etc.

  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar (the higher the quality, the better)
  • 4 heaped tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt to serve
  • Mint leaves to serve

Method

Step 1: Put all the berries into a bowl. Toss it up lightly with the ends of your fingers until berries are mixed through.

Step 2: In a separate little bowl or jug, mix together the vinegar, sugar, and vanilla paste. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, pour the mixture over the berries.

Step 3: Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate. Then sprinkle with mint leaves and add dollop of Greek yoghurt.  

     

   

Sweetcorn, Chicken and Snow Pea Mexican salad

This dish is based on a Chicken and Sweetcorn Salad, however we decided to put together our own version to give it a bit more of a Mexican summer taste.

Serves: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 baby cos lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 600g trimmed chicken breast fillets
  • 250g trimmed snow peas
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 sweet corn (remove kernels)
  • 1 orange, rind finely grated and juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2/3 cup Mexican salsa (according to taste, choose mild, medium or hot)        

Method

Step 1: Place a saucepan of cold water over the stove on a high-heat. Once water is boiling, add the corn kernels and allow to cook for around 5 minutes or until soft. Then drain.  

Step 2: Preheat barbecue to a medium-high heat. Drizzle oil over chicken breasts and cook on barbecue for 5 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Step 3: When the chicken is cooked through, take it off the grill and wrap in aluminium foil. Put it aside for 10 minutes to rest.

Step 4: By now the corn kernels should have cooled to the touch, so combine the lettuce, cucumber, snow peas, capsicum and corn in a bowl.

Step 5:  In a separate jug or small bowl, combine the orange rind, orange juice, chives and oil, and whisk them altogether.

Step 6: Once the chicken has rested, thickly slice and coat it in the Mexican salsa. Add chicken to salad bowl.

Step 7: Coat salad and chicken in orange dressing, and toss. Serve cold.

 

       

 

Heart warming haloumi stack

This combination of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and haloumi is a hearty way to celebrate seasonal summer vegetables. This recipe is all about taking advantage of the summer weather and chargrilling vegies on the barbecue.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp (as needed) olive oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 eggplants, sliced 1cm thick crossways
  • 4 vine tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, halved and sliced lengthways
  • 3 red capsicums, sliced into flat pieces roughly the same size at the eggplant pieces
  • 180 grams of good haloumi cheese, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Step 1: Whisk the crushed garlic and olive oil together, and brush mixture onto the sliced eggplant, capsicum and zucchini. Leave a little oil for the remaining tomato.

Step 2: Place eggplant, capsicum and zucchini on cast iron grill, and chargrill over high heat for around 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Step 3: Use some of the oil to brush the haloumi and tomato, and add that to the grill in the last 1 to 2 minutes (cooking for around 1 minute per side).

Step 4: Take out all vegetables, and stack in alternative layers with haloumi. For example: capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, tomato, haloumi, capsicum, zucchini etc. Cover in foil to allow haloumi to soften.

Step 5: Arrange all the vegetables in a stack on a serving plate, and drizzle extra virgin olive oil.   

    

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