Are you sad that summer is officially over? There's still some great summer produce at the markets, at least for another couple of weeks. Make this easy, gorgeous late summer salad full of nature's bounty like late season figs (the sweetest!), tomatoes, garlic and basil combined with prosciutto and bocconcini. Prep is just 5 minutes!
Although this summer was the hottest that we've had in years I will miss the warmth. Autumn has definitely made its calming presence felt, shaving off some of the degrees to a more manageable measure. And I'm about the embark on some travel but first please let me share some new items In My Kitchen (apart from boxes of figs!) with host Lizzy.
We recently visited the Blue Mountains with friends and on our last day we stopped by Blackheath markets. Because it was a sweltering day we didn't buy much but I was smitten by these salamis. Better still the stall owner sampled everything which made us want to buy more (I don't tend to buy things that I can't taste at markets unless it is produce). The duck and juniper salami was divine and the truffle pork salami was strong in truffle so we bought both.
We stayed at Parklands and on the outdoor table was a pot plant with yellow chillies. We clipped a few as I was curious to try them in cooking (the plant was replete with them). They were quite spicy but not overwhelmingly so. I don't know what variety of chilli they were though!
The next item was a gift from reader and friend Jaqi. She teaches English to overseas students at UNSW and we always exchange gifts when we meet up. She brought a little treat from one of her students: Omani Halwa. It's quite different from other halwa, it's soft, almost jelly like and spreadable and heady in saffron and cardamom. It's very sweet and delicious and the student recommends limiting oneself to 3 teaspoons maximum a day. He brought back a suitcase of halwa he loves it so much!
On Friday I came back from a trip to Orange (which I can't wait to share with you!). We visited one farm called Carbene Pastured Produce where all of their meat chickens, cattle and egg chickens are raised on pastures using the Joel Salatin method of farming. They make a conscious effort to invest in labour over chemicals and will not stock in supermarkets. And their eggs? They taste fantastic, especially when poached!
The last two items are from a recent trip out to Harris Park with my sometime vegetarian friend Laura (spoiler: she now eats chicken :P). I love visiting grocery stores from other countries and we picked up a few snacks. They had a few drinks in cans from rose to pistachio but I liked the fact that I had no idea what a lot of the ingredients were. It's called a Thandai drink or Thandai flavoured milk with real badaam. Badaam is actually almond and it's a sweet, milky drink with saffron and spices. It's absolutely delicious and like a dessert drink! The Masala Munch chips look like Twisties and are flavoured with corn, chilli, black pepper and cardamom with a really tangy, spicy flavour to them. They're also pretty good! There's even a version of a Frito Pie on the back and they suggest steaming onion, capsicum and corn, adding tomato, green chilli and garnishing the salad with the chips!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you making the most of this summer's fruit? And what exciting things do you have in your kitchen this month? Have you tried any of these items? And do you buy things at markets without tasting them?