When food is in season, it is just plain better. Eating food in season means eating food the way nature intended it to be. The flavor is at its strongest, you get the most nutritional value, and it is at its cheapest price!
You see, because of the way modern food is processed and shipped worldwide – it’s easy to forget about eating in-season foods because everything is always available year round.
But today, we’re putting the focus on a few delicious and unique fruits and vegetables that are best served right now- in the middle of winter. And we’ll show you their versatility by pointing out the many ways that they pop up in our chefs’ menus. Read on!
Rhubarb is most commonly found on the dessert menu. Usually, its leaf stalks are cut up and boiled in water with sugar. Before they’re cooked, the stalks are crisp like celery, and have a tart flavor.
Rhubarb Pie may come to mind immediately when you think of this fruit, but our chefs put their own personal spin on the Rhubarb dessert:
Christian features a Buttermilk Pudding Cake with Rhubarb, Ginger Confit, and Clotted Cream on his Fusion Menu. (Bonus: Ginger is another ingredient that is perfectly in season right now.)
Tim created a Rhubarb and Apple Macadamia Nut Crumble & Double Cream for his Modern Australia Menu. (Yep – apples are in season right now, too.)
Pumpkins and their seeds are a staple of winter cuisine. It’s an incredibly versatile item, in that almost every part of the vegetable is edible and it can be prepared in so many different ways: boiled, baked, steamed, roasted, pureed into a soup or pie filling. And then there are the seeds, which on their own make a salty and delicious snack.
Here’s how our chefs get creative with this special winter squash:
Amy’s Modern Australian Menu features Roasted Pumpkin Gnocchi with Lime Leaf and Curry Sauce.
And on Liam’s Modern Australian Menu he does a Morrocan Pumpkin, with Grilled Haloumi, Toasted Pine and Pumpkin Seeds, Citrus Oil, and Beetroot Crisps.
Celeriac is also known as turnip-rooted celery, or celery root. It’s a variety of celery that is grown and used mostly for its roots. It’s often referred to as the ugliest vegetable. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Once you get past the gnarly, rough outside layer, you’ll find a veggie that tastes quite a lot like celery. The texture is different, it’s thick and more substantial. And it can be prepared in all kinds of ways: roasted, blanched, mashed, or stewed.
Celeriac shows up as a puree on Melissa’s French-Italian Fusion Menu. The Twice Cooked Duck is served with Celeriac Puree and Sour Cherry Jus.
On Jason’s Asian-French Fusion Menu, he serves Twice Cooked Herbed Chicken Breast with Rosemary Celeriac Past, Pepperonata, and Black Olive Soil.
You’ll notice that celeriac is often not the main focus for a dish, but an ingredient that enhances and supports the center ingredient. That’s all the more reason to experiment with it though, and now’s the time of year to give it a try.
The first notable thing about this citrus fruit is the unexpectedly deep, red color of the flesh. It’s almost as dark as blood, which explains their slightly creepy name. This orange is especially high in antioxidants compared to the other fruits in its family, and has the usual citrus-y flavor, but also a distinct raspberry like taste. Depending on the type of orange, they can be sour or sweet. They shine when featured on a dessert menu (Blood Orange Sorbet, anyone?) but also pop when served in a Winter Salad.
Here’s how a few of our chefs deal with the interesting fruit:
On his Modern British Menu, Rory serves Coq Au Vin, Potato, Radish, Kipfler Potato and Smoked Pork with a Blood Orange Salad.
And on Kieran’s Modern Australian Menu, you’ll find a Classic Creme Brulee, with Blood Orange, and Blueberry Donuts.
Hopefully our chefs use of these winter ingredients will get you excited about experimenting with them on your own, and dabbling with an in-season diet. Yes, winter can be drab and dreary, but deliciously unique ingredients like these can introduce some warmth and some fun into the coldest season! Enjoy.