Bountiful harvests

The season of plenty, autumn is the start of hearty soups, stews, and casseroles, and — like squirrels storing their nuts — a time to stock up for winter.

New seasons bring opportunities to try different foods, and make the most of what is plentiful, one reason many restaurants change their menus with the months. Readily available now are beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chillies, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, pak choy, parsley, peas, pumpkins, spinach, spring onion, and tomatoes. Add to the list Brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, silverbeet, sweet potatoes, and zucchini, and there’s plenty of inspiration for home cooks and restaurant chefs.

Pears, plums, apples, and rhubarb are popular fruits stewed, and served with cereal or yoghurt for breakfast, or in desserts.

A basic stewed fruit recipe is:

  1. Chop up 500g of fruit, discarding any stones.
  2. Place the fruit in a pan, and add favourite spices sparingly.
  3. Add 2-3 heaped teaspoons of sugar. Adjust to personal taste.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of water, and cook on a medium heat with the lid on.
  5. Once the fruit has softened, remove the lid and let the liquid reduce to a thick consistency.

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