Pack more flavour onto your plate this spring by indulging in some fresh, seasonal produce. Not only are spring fruits and veggies packed with nutrients, their vibrancy gifts a total feast for the eyes.
Here are three of our favourite ingredients right now, along with some tips on how to champion them in your cooking.
Try incorporating beetroot into a salad this spring. Pick up your favourite cut of steak, chargrill to your liking and add even more colour with bulbous, crunchy radishes and carrots of all different colours. Garnish with fresh herbs such as basil, chives and parsley, finish with some marinated feta or goat’s cheese and you have yourself a crowd-pleaser.
Got a spring sweet tooth? Beetroot is definitely not bound to the savoury side of life. The vegetable brings a certain decadence to desserts that helps intensify other flavours. It goes particularly well with chocolate; integrate some beetroot into your next batch of brownies to not only make them healthier but richer.
Tomatoes, they’re reliable, adaptable and resilient. Pair them with a protein, turn them into a vibrant spring salsa, or hero them in a pasta dish.
Steam or grill your fish, and top it with a Sicilian-style salsa of chopped tomatoes, currants, pine nuts and parsley for a refreshing, nutritious and extremely easy meal to make.
A great vegetarian pasta made with beautiful, blistered cherry tomatoes can be enough to make carnivores take vegetarian food more seriously. Combine oil and thin slices of garlic in a pan, add in tomatoes and ingredients like eggplant to take things to the next level. Season with salt and pepper and add in some basil. Throw in your pasta (cooked al dente, of course) and toss through the sauce. A 15-minute exercise, tops.
Avocados – arguably our national fruit
Avocados are an incredibly in-demand fruit all around the country. Make your own smashed avo toast at home with exactly what you want on it – whether that’s a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, dried shallots, a helping of harissa or some pickled vegetables to add another layer of flavour.
Like beetroot, avocado shouldn’t be limited to savoury dishes. Mix it into a chocolate mousse to achieve the ultimate creaminess. Or, if you have a little more time on your hands, incorporate it into a tart. Instead of making a classic lemon meringue tart, go for an avocado and lime version by blending the two ingredients together, to replace the lemon. Umami from the avocado, sourness from the lime and sweetness from the meringue swirled on top makes for a well-balanced dessert.