We’re a pretty healthy bunch here in Noosa: with such an abundance of locally grown fresh produce, it’s not exactly difficult. Kale, once thought of as a disinteresting vegetable and now the superstar of leafy greens, grows very well in our climate and is easily found at the Noosa Farmers Market or most local greengrocers. Or if you’re a keen vegetable gardener (like me), you can often find yourself with a glut. Solution? Make Kale chips.
Here at Noosa Foodie we are big fans of cooking and eating seasonally and locally, and this salad fits the bill big time at this time of the year. Local tomatoes are amazing at this time of the year (I grow my own), as is the local asparagus which I buy from the Noosa Farmers Market.
Rhubarb is currently in season, and whilst most people think rhubarb is a fruit it is actually a vegetable. Known for its tart, tangy and slightly sharp taste, rhubarb is a great filling for pies and crumbles, marries beautifully with cream and custards and also has its place in savoury dishes. I have wonderful childhood memories of my Mum’s delicious rhubarb crumble…
Mangoes are in season and although the majority of them are coming from the Northern Territory presently, it won’t be long before we’ll be eating Queensland mangoes. When mangoes are in abundance and inexpensive as they are now, I say make the most of them any way you can in your cooking. I devised this recipe the other day, as I had a fruit bowl full of mangoes and a large tub of beautiful local yoghurt from Maleny Dairies* in the fridge which needed to be finished up.
The barbeque season has well and truly kicked off, with temperatures soaring well into the 30’s already in Noosa. Barbequing is a way of life here, and while meat often plays the starring role, I like to ensure that there is a diverse selection of salads served for the non-carnivores. This is a salad I created recently, which uses barbequed corn, the only way to prepare corn in my humble opinion! It’s a pretty, colourful and satisfying salad and goes beautifully with barbequed chicken or salmon.
When you see mangoes at your local farmers market, you know summer is definitely on its way. Whilst the mangoes that are available at the moment are mainly coming from Northern Territory, it won’t be long before we’ll be enjoying Queensland mangoes. Mangoes are such a versatile fruit, and can be used in savoury dishes, drinks, baked goods and desserts to name but a few! One of my favourite ways to cook with mangoes is this Mango Pie, a recipe I developed quite a few years ago but find myself making over and over again. The pie filling is luscious – creamy, fruity but not to sweet. I like to make my pastry from scratch, but if you’re pressed for time just use a sheet of defrosted shortcrust pastry. Either way, your guests will be coming back for seconds, I promise you!
It’s been a long time between posts, and that’s because this foodie has been eating her way around Europe! Having just returned from a wonderful month travelling Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and England, I’m back in Noosa with renewed culinary inspiration. There were several highlights to my trip – one was dining at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant The Fat Duck, an incredible experience, and the other was travelling around rural Italy. I concentrated on a fairly small area, which included the regions of Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche. On my gourmet escapades, one of the things that was very apparent is the diversity of foods in each region. For example Liguria was abundant with seafood and is where the famous pesto sauce originates, whereas Tuscany cuisine was more meat-based, with game being readily available.
Winter has arrived with a vengeance. Yes, it does get chilly on the Sunshine Coast! At this time of the year I am ready to move away from salads and barbequed food and enjoy more complex dishes. This tasty Thai-inspired recipe is a perfect winter-warming dish, and makes use of local ginger, limes and garlic which are currently in season. The beef becomes very tender and falls off the bone due to the long cooking time. Don’t trim the fat from the beef ribs, as it adds to the delicious flavour of the coconut sauce.
There is nothing nicer than the smell of freshly baked bread, except the smell of spicy, fruity hot cross buns baking! This Easter, instead of buying manufactured hot cross buns filled with preservatives and other nasties, why not bake your own? It’s not difficult to do, and the results are absolutely worth it. Yes, it does take a little time, but like anything in life the best things can’t be rushed.
Noosa Foodie loves seasonal cooking. On the Sunshine Coast we are currently enjoying an abundance of late summer fruit. My lime tree is full of fruit, and whilst my passionfruit vine is yet to yield, passionfruit are-a-plenty at the Noosa Farmers Market. So when life gives you passionfruit and limes, I say “make Passionfruit & Lime Butter”!