With Chef Joe Grbac, Saxe Restaurant
So, winter is here, our collars are pulled up and umbrellas never further than an arm’s length away.
It’s the best time for citrus. Lemons are just starting to flourish, their juices sweet within. Choose organic non-waxed varieties; normally with these guys the more misshapen the better the fruit.
Mandarins are a favourite, the pungent aroma and delicate flavour are an anytime treat; in the kid’s lunch boxes or a snack at the office desk. I created a whole dish around them – mandarin custard, sheep’s milk yogurt set cream, mandarin sorbet, almond sponge and chamomile (pictured below).
From the vegetable garden comes broccoli, a locally grown Victorian ingredient. Try a variation on traditional boiled broccoli by slicing three cloves of garlic thinly and melt into 60ml extra virgin olive oil until they just start to colour. Add 250ml homemade chicken stock, reduce down by half and then add the broccoli florets and cook for three minutes, stir in some precooked pasta and mid-week dinner is done.
Winter is also time for brussels sprouts. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with them, which is likely something to do with how you ate them as a kid! Choose brussels that are small, hard and bright green outside. At Saxe, we deep fry them until dark and crispy on the outside and then dress with a tablespoon of seeded mustard, caramelised onion and a splash of sherry vinegar. The perfect side with duck or quail.
Cauliflower is another underrated and underused vegetable. Cut into florets, add olive oil and roast at 180 degrees Celsius until golden and tender. Chop some anchovy fillets and stir in with half a lemon zest and juice and some chopped parsley.
Also in season right now are celeriac, sweet potato, kale, savoy cabbage, daikon, radicchio and chestnuts, all available at the Market – enjoy!
Join Joe Grbac for a Seasonal Feast Masterclass as part of The Neff Market Kitchen Cooking School. Click HERE for details.