Autumn Bounty

A blast of late-summer heat was difficult for producers but Autumn will still deliver our favourite seasonal fruit and vegetables.

As summer fades, it’s time to welcome the cool, crisp weather of autumn with its abundance of earthy, robust fresh produce.

Frewville and Pasadena’s fresh produce sections will offer a colourful selection of locally-grown pears including Duchess, Packham, Nashi and Red Sensation varieties among others.

Chef Salvatore Pepe uses Duchess pears from the Adelaide Hills in his poached pear recipe (see page 15). Duchess pears are ideal for poaching, baking and slicing into salads.

Look out for Kevin and Cindy Legg’s organic pears from the couple’s 20-acre property at Cadell. The Leggs have been certified organic by NAASA since 2007.

Apples, too, shine in autumn. Look out for the early-ripening Japanese variety called Akane, a crisp, juicy, sweet apple with a slightly chewy flesh and hint of strawberry flavour.

This season’s bounty also brings figs, persimmon, plums, pomegranates, quince, native finger lime (called citrus caviar) and cumquats which are the only citrus fruit that can be eaten whole (“skin and all”).

Home cooks welcome the arrival of autumn vegetables in the kitchen for some more robust flavours and textures. Beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, eggplant, kale, zucchini, kohlrabi, leeks, pumpkin and silverbeet will appear in the fresh produce departments.

April also heralds chestnut season. Fresh chestnuts, grown in the Adelaide Hills, are a healthy snack and are low in fat, high in vitamin C and gluten free. They can be roasted, grilled, barbecued or boiled and served whole, halved, chopped or pureed.

They are great in stews, stir-fries, stuffings for roast meats and poultry, creamy soups, ravioli fillings or use in desserts.

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