As the weather warms up, nothing beats the smell of summer fruits permeating the Saturday Fresh Market and mixing with the aroma of freshly baked bread and international delights from the food court.
With a plethora of Queensland-grown fruit available, now is the time to deep dive into a fruity lifestyle.
White and yellow fleshed peaches and nectarines are as tasty as you’ll find at the moment. It looks like they will be having a short season this year, so grab them now while they are at their eating best.
In a week or two, peaches and nectarines will be replaced by plums, and there is an amazing array of these plump and juicy stone fruit varieties these days. Try the new red-fleshed plums for a seriously delicious summer treat.
As we get closer to Christmas, more cherries will start to appear and the fruit will taste sweeter after the season was delayed due to the wet weather.
There’s also lots of the summer favourite, mangoes, starting to come in from Bowen in North Queensland, after the first of the season arrived from Northern Territory.
It is also a great time of year to splash out on refreshing melons. Rockmelon and honey dew are currently coming in from North Queensland and watermelon is arriving from Bundaberg.
What better way to enjoy summer fruit but to add it into your savoury meals? Check out these summer fruit salads and add the ingredients to your Saturday Fresh Market shopping list this week.
Nectarine Salad with Cucumber, Basil and Goat Cheese
1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
3 ripe nectarines
1/8 cup basil leaves, torn
1/4 –1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
Optional: tender greens or rocket, toasted nuts of choice.
- Thinly slice red onion using a mandolin (if possible) and place in a small bowl of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and soak 10-15 minutes to remove bitterness.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Slice nectarines into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice cucumbers into thin rings. Arrange in a shallow bowl or on a platter over optional greens. Rinse and drain the onions and scatter about. Top with torn basil leaves and goat cheese crumbles.
- Spoon dressing over top. Sprinkle with optional chili pepper.
- Serve this on its own or over tender greens.
Mango Salad with Lime
2 ripe mangos (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper (1 cup diced)
1/2 English cucumber (1 cup chopped)
1/4 red onion (¼ cup thinly sliced)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
3 tablespoons lime juice (1 large or 2 small)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon honey or maple syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
- Chop the mangos. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the English cucumber. Thinly slice the red onion. Chop the mint and cilantro. Place them all in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, olive oil, and honey or maple syrup. Add to the bowl with the mango and vegetables, then add the kosher salt and mix to combine. Lasts up to 3 days refrigerated.
Pretty Plum Salad
For the salad:
3 red plums, rinsed and sliced
1 small head green butter lettuce
1 small head curly lettuce
1 small head red leaf lettuce
½ head radicchio
½ head fennel
½ cup of dressing
sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper
sprinkle sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
For the Honey-Ginger Dressing:
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
¼ cup honey
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
sprinkle black pepper
- Prepare the dressing: Place all of the ingredients into the canister of an immersion or conventional blender. Zip them up to create a smooth, creamy dressing. Refrigerate until use.
- For the salad: Place sliced plums into a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of Honey-Ginger Dressing. Toss and set aside.
- Prepare vegetables: Gently tear lettuce leaves into smaller bits and place into a medium-sized salad bowl. Slice radicchio into thin strips and add it to the greens. Carefully run fennel across a vegetable mandoline to create paper-thin slices and add them to the same bowl. Gently toss to combine.
- Dress and serve: Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the dressing onto the vegetables and toss lightly. Divide salad between four salad or luncheon-sized plates. Toss the plums in their bowl then gently tuck the slices into the mounds of greens.
- Garnish: Add a of sprinkle black pepper and sea salt flakes to each salad, followed by a sprinkle of chopped mint. Serve immediately.
Mediterranean Watermelon Salad Recipe with Feta and Cucumber
For The Honey-Lime Dressing:
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoon quality extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
For The Watermelon Salad:
½ watermelon peeled, cut into cubes
1 cucumber, cubed
15 fresh mint leaves chopped
15 fresh basil leaves chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (more to your liking)
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Set aside for a moment.
- Make the Salad. In a large bowl or serving platter with sides, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
- Top the watermelon salad with the dressing and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta cheese and serve!