Lifestyle

Seasonal recipes that taste great and cost less

Seasonal recipes that taste great and cost less

Buying seasonal produce not only means getting great-tasting food at its peak nutritional value - it can also help you save money on your grocery bill, as plentiful supply sees prices drop. Here are three delicious recipes featuring some of Australia’s finest autumn produce: pumpkins, apples, pears and figs.

Fig, walnut and rocket salad

Paired with grilled lamb chops or simply enjoyed on its own with a slice of crusty bread, this tasty salad makes the most of fresh, seasonal figs.

Ingredients

100gm rocket leaves, washed and dried

1/4 red onion, sliced into thin rings

8 figs, halved lengthwise

1 tbsp butter

Extra-virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Goat’s feta (or gorgonzola)

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

Method

  1. Arrange the rocket and sliced onion on four plates.
  2. Dust figs with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place figs cut side down in the pan, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then gently turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Remove figs from the pan. Allow to cool slightly, then place onto the salads.
  4. To serve, drizzle each salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Top with crumbled feta cheese and toasted walnuts.

Baked maple-cinnamon pears

Baked pears are a special autumn treat that are quick and easy to prepare. Try them hot with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for dessert, or cold on a steaming bowl of porridge for breakfast.

Ingredients

4 Bosc pears, peeled, halved and de-seeded

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Vanilla ice-cream (or yoghurt), to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Arrange pears cut-side up in a glass baking dish. Dot pears with butter, then drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Bake pears in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, basting occasionally with the buttery juice, until crisp-tender and turning brown.
  4. To serve, place two pears halves in a bowl and top with vanilla ice-cream (or yoghurt). Drizzle with juice from the baking dish.

Easy pumpkin soup

This deliciously spicy pumpkin soup is just the ticket to warm you up when the autumn chill sets in. If you don't like too much heat, remove the seeds from the chilli before adding it to the pan, or leave it the out altogether. 

Ingredients

1kg butternut pumpkin, skin removed, cut into small cubes

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

2cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 long red chilli, sliced

1 x 400ml can coconut milk

1L vegetable stock

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish (optional)

Toasted pumpkin seeds

Chilli slices

Fresh coriander 

Method

  1. Place the pumpkin in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for around 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, then add the cumin, coriander and chilli (reserving a few slices to garnish, if desired). Cook for around 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the pumpkin and whizz everything with a handheld blender until smooth.
  4. Add the coconut milk and stock, then return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat and bring back to a gentle simmer. Season to taste before serving.
  5. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, chilli slices and fresh coriander.

While you're saving with seasonal produce this autumn, also save in the kitchen by ensuring you have the best deal on your electricity and gas.