Summer is right around the corner. It’s time to take advantage of all the fresh seasonal produce available to us at our local supermarkets. Mangoes, watermelon, peaches, figs, beetroot, pumpkin, spinach… the list is endless!
Here are three inspiring, fresh and just downright delicious recipes that are perfect for entertaining friends and family throughout the warm summer months:
Crispy chicken salad with peaches and harissa
You will need:
6 free-range chicken drumsticks
½ cup caster sugar
4 peaches, peeled and halved, stone removed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp butter
100ml verjuice or white wine
250ml vegetable oil
100g rocket leaves
4 tbsp harissa (or you can use romesco sauce or kasundi)
1. In a pot, bring the chicken, salt and water to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and place on a plate to cool. Reserve the liquid as it is a nice simple chicken stock.
2. For the peaches, add the caster sugar to a flat frying pan and place on amedium flame. Once the sugar starts to turn a little brown, add the peaches (flesh side down) and bay leaves, and cook themfor 2-3 minutes or until the sugar starts to turn to a light caramel.
3. Add the butter and verjuice, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat and leave peaches in the pan to cool. Once cold, slice into wedges.
4. In a large frying pan on high heat, add the oil and once warm, add the drumsticks and fry for 5-10 minutes until crispy and cooked through. Take off the heat, drain and place the chicken onto a tray.
5.Once cool, separate chicken your fingers. In a bowl, mix together the chicken, peaches and rocket, and dress with a little harissa. Place the salad into the serving bowl then add a little more harissa.
Watermelon with feta and prawn vinaigrette
You will need:
125ml olive oil
250g Australian prawns,
peeled and chopped
1 shallot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 red bullet chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
75ml sherry vinegar
125ml verjuice or white wine
1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed and dried
500g watermelon, peeled and diced into 3cm x 3cm cubes
100g feta (we used Danish-style cow’s milk feta), diced
8 mint leaves, finely choppe
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
1. To make the prawn vinaigrette, place a medium saucepan over a high heat. Add a little of the olive oil, then the prawns, and cook for 2-4 minutes until the prawns have a little colour.
2. Add the shallot, garlic and chilli. Turn downthe heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes until the shallot starts to sweat but doesn’t colour. Add the tomato paste and sherry vinegar, cook out a little, then add the verjuice and bring to the boil.
3. Allow the vinaigrette to reduce a little, then add the capers and the rest of the oil. Take off the heat.
4. Arrange the watermelon pieces onto your serving bowl then spoon over the vinaigrette (if you don’t use it all, save the vinaigrette in the fridge – it’s amazing as a simple pasta sauce). Crumble the feta over the watermelon pieces, then sprinkle over the herbs and serve.
Smashed figs with blue cheese and walnuts
You will need:
5 figs, top and tailed, cut in half along the width
50g blue cheese, diced
8 basil leaves
75ml white balsamic vinegar
75ml olive oil
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Grilled bread, to serve
1. Cut two sheets of baking paper to the same size as a 30cm plate. Place the figs, flesh side down, on one sheet then place the second sheet over it.
2. Smash the figs using your hands. Once the figs are smashed, take the top piece of paper off then place the plate over and quickly flip the figs over like a pancake.
3. Take off the last piece of paper then sprinkle all the other ingredients over the top. Serve with grilled bread.
There you have it, three modern yet simple dishes guaranteed to knock the socks off of your guests. So go ahead, indulge your friends next time you have a dinner party, I guarantee they will be prying the recipe right from your hands.
Recipes Courtesy of Homelife.com.au