Summer has some amazing in season produce, including berries, cherries, grapes, rhubarb, melons, pineapple, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, cucumbers, sweetcorn, leeks and so much more. Buying and using in season produce can save you money and usually means the best of fresh produce, especially if you shop at markets. Here are a few recipes that use some of this amazing in season produce. Enjoy!
500g Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 eggplant, diced
Seal salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
½ punnet of cherry tomatoes, sliced
10 leaves fresh basil, torn
1 red capsicum diced
1 zucchini, diced
Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
While cooking the pasta sauce, heat a large saucepan of water to boil and cook pasta and drain as per directions.
In a large non-stick pan, heat olive oil on a medium heat. Add diced eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and garlic and toss to coat. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables soften, stirring often. Add cherry tomatoes and canned tomatoes and bring to the boil.
Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as torn basil leaves. Stir and lower heat and let sauce simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the cooked pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Greek-style stuffed capsicums
3/4 cup (150g) brown rice
1 tsp olive oil
2 brown onions, finely chopped
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs ground paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
100g reduced-fat fetta
120g baby spinach
1/2 cup (125ml) Beef stock
400g can tomatoes or equivalent fresh tomatoes (chopped roughly)
4 red capsicums, halved lengthways, seeded
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Lemon zest, to serve
Preheat oven to 140°C. Cook the rice following packet directions. Set aside to cool. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add half the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion softens. Add the lamb and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 mins or until the lamb changes colour. Stir in half the garlic. Add the paprika, oregano and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 min or until aromatic. Remove from heat. Add the rice, fetta and spinach and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion softens. Add beef stock and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 mins or until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Place capsicum, cut-side up, in a roasting pan. Spoon the rice mixture evenly among the capsicum halves. Pour the sauce around the capsicum. Bake, covered, for 30 mins. Uncover and bake for a further 30 mins or until capsicum is very tender. Top with parsley and lemon zest to serve.
Pork and pineapple skewers
400g pork fillet
4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
60ml cider vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce
½ small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (or use ready prepped fresh pineapple, drained well)
1 green capsicum, deseeded and cut into squares (optional)
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4 equal lengths
small bunch coriander, chopped (optional)
cooked rice or pitta, to serve
Cut the pork into cubes. Heat the sugar and vinegar in a pan over a low heat until the sugar melts. Add the fish sauce and cool. Tip in the pork and mix well so that all the cubes are covered in sauce.
Heat the barbecue. If you are using coals, wait until they turn white. If you are indoors, heat a griddle pan. Thread the pork and pineapple onto skewers, alternating pieces with the capsicum and spring onion.
Barbecue or griddle the skewers for 3-4 mins each side (you may need to cook them for longer if griddling). Sprinkle with coriander, if you like, then serve with rice or slide into pitta breads.
You’ll need eight small or four large skewers for this recipe. Metal skewers with twists along the length are ideal, as they stop the ingredients from sliding about. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water first.
Rhubarb and custard traybake
400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths
225g caster sugar
250g slightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
3 medium eggs
175g self-raising flour
50g custard powder
100g ground almonds
500g tub Vanilla Custard
12 sugar cubes, crushed (optional)
Preheat the oven to 230°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pat the rhubarb dry on kitchen paper and spread out in a single layer on the baking paper. Sprinkle with 25g of the caster sugar and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the rhubarb is lightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while preparing the cake.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Grease and line a 28 x 22cm shallow baking tin with baking paper. Beat together the remaining sugar with the butter, eggs, flour, custard powder, ground almonds and 100g of the custard until pale and creamy. Fold through the rhubarb.
Turn into the prepared tin and spread in an even layer. Press deep cavities into the mixture with the back of a dessertspoon and pour the remaining custard into the tin.
Bake for 45–50 minutes until risen and the sponge feels just firm to the touch but the custard is still quite wobbly in the centre. Scatter with the crushed sugar and leave to cool in the tin. Serve cut into 12 pieces.
If you prefer, you can scatter the rhubarb over the cake before baking instead of folding it through the mixture, as in our picture.
Recipe and images sources: