Feature

Cooking in season

Fruit and veg in season

Credit: Louise Lister

Fruit and veg in season 2

Credit: Louise Lister

carrots-seasonal-story

Credit: Louise Lister

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Brussels sprouts

These slightly bitter-tasting greens originated from a cool European climate, so you’ll find them in farmers’ markets in similar cool climes with high rainfall. Don’t be put off by memories of overcooked sprouts from your childhood – they’re best enjoyed when left a little crunchy.

Storage: Store them with their outer leaves intact in a bowl in the fridge.
In-season matches: Zucchini, cauliflower, fennel, broccoli, celeriac, lemon, leek, onion.
Flavour matches: Most nuts, white wine, garlic, parsley, oregano, butter, pepper, mustard, parmesan cheese, capers, miso, honey, balsamic vinegar.

3 ways with Brussels sprouts:
- Daniel Rigos, executive chef at Lentil as Anything in Abbotsford, Melbourne, suggests blanching 8–10 Brussels sprouts in boiling water until half cooked, then mixing with 1 tbsp minced garlic, lots of butter and a dash of white wine. Grate parmesan on top and bake in the oven on low heat until golden brown.

- Brussels sprouts come alive when teamed with almonds in a dip, says Janella Purcell. Soak raw almonds overnight and steam the sprouts. Blitz with baby spinach and a touch of coconut oil, add sea salt to taste, and spread on bread or crackers.

- Michelle Shearer fries halved sprouts in a heavy-based pan along with some zucchinis halved lengthways. First, she tosses the vegies in a bowl with a good glug of olive oil, a tsp of mustard, the juice of a lemon, 2 tbsp of fresh oregano, plus salt and pepper.

Carrots

Carrots grow easily in most parts of Australia year-round, though the height of the carrot season is in winter. That’s when loads of interesting heirloom varieties are available in purple, red, white and yellow. There are the softer, sweeter baby Dutch carrots, too.

Storage: Storage for carrots differs from other root vegetables; keep them in the crisper of the fridge.
In-season matches: Peas, kale, silverbeet, zucchini, pumpkin, asparagus, sorrel, okra, citrus fruits.
Flavour matches: Lentils, ginger, coriander leaves and seeds, Vietnamese mint, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, honey.

3 ways with carrots:
- Daniel from Lentil as Anything makes soup by roasting purple, red or yellow carrots with onions, garlic and ginger in a moderate oven until soft and caramelised. He blends them with stock and coconut cream, and garnishes with chopped coriander.

- Georgie Swift from seasonal food truck The Veggie Patch Van says for a great start to the day juice carrot, orange, ginger and grapefruit, pour into a cold glass and... glug!

- Cooking carrots helps to release all the good nutrients, so carrot cake is definitely on the menu! Click here for a vegan recipe from UK-based Deri Reed, better known as The Ethical Chef.

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