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In season late summer: Nectarines, cherries, shallots

Nectarines

Choose firm fruit with just a little give. Plumpness and a slight softening along the seam are signs of mature fruit. Picked nectarines will become softer and juicier but not sweeter.

Nutrition

Nectarines contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fibre. Nectarines are a good source of antioxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene.

Use

Nectarines are best eaten at room temperature, are great with cereal and in sweet and savoury salads.

Recipe idea

Nectarine sponge with blueberries

Cherries

Store cherries in the fridge for up to a week to keep their flavour and texture intact. To freeze cherries, rinse and drain fruit, lay them on a tray, freeze then store in a plastic bag. Frozen fruit may be kept for up to a year.

Nutrition

Cherries are a low-kilojoule sweet treat that provides vitamin C and a range of other potent antioxidants.

Use

Gently wash sweet cherries and eat raw, added to fruit platters or add pitted cherries to trifles and fruit salads.

Recipe idea

Cherry almond fairy cakes with pistachio dust

Shallots

It would be a mistake to think these are just another name for spring onions. Shallots, also known as gourmet onions, are actually smaller, sometimes clustered, milder and sweeter flavoured brown onion relatives.

Nutrition

Shallots contain antioxidant flavanoids.

Use

Banana shallots are the largest variety with a long, torpedo shape and mild flavour. Peel and chop shallots finely (use in dressings, sauces and stews), or roast whole (20 minutes) with or without their skins.

TIP: Shallots contain much less water than onions so remember they need to be cooked more gently to avoid burning.

Recipe idea

Crumbed chicken with rocket salad and wedges

First published: Feb 2015



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