I had a shopping trip to Prahran Market just after Christmas. I haven’t managed to get out to markets a lot lately so it was a bit of a treat, especially with all the gorgeous summer fruit about.
Markets are so much more friendly than supermarkets but this makes it harder to stay aloof when making decisions about what to buy. Make eye contact with the man selling 650g cherries for $5 and it is hard to say no. Alright, I didn’t want to. I love cherries and couldn’t resist a bargain even if I am not naturally inclined to buy so many. And there were blood plums which I have fond memories of eating as a child but don’t see many good ones about. I like their dark colour, their suggestive name and their tart flavour. Even better is the suggestive sell at the counters is punnets of cheap berries rather than chocolate bars – I don’t usually go for the chocolate bars but raspberries at $3 for a 150g punnet is hard to walk by. But the most curious were all the men selling fruit at the stall kept calling me ‘darling’! (I feel like looking behind me and then asking, ‘you talking to me?’) As I said, markets are full of friendly folk.
By the time I got home, my fruit bowl was overflowing, thanks to my enthusiastic purchasing at the market. The fruit needed to be used. Inspired by the red fruit salad I made last year, I returned to my dessert cookbook for ideas. I didn’t find quite the recipe I was after but had enough ideas. I made the loveliest summer fruit salad.
I love stone fruit and berries and wish they featured in more fruit salads. It remains a mystery to me as to why so many fruit salads are full of melons. I don’t mind apples, bananas, orange, pineapple, kiwi fruit and passionfruit which are commonly found in fruit salad. But melons!!! I have heard that there are people who love melons but I cannot understand why. Hence it difficult for me to find a pleasing fruit salad and all the more reason to relish those that I make at home in summer.
E ate very little of the fruit salad. All the more for me! I gobbled up a large bowl with no accompaniments, although I know some would prefer it with a dollop of yoghurt, cream or marscapone. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t have room for a mince tart when E had one.
I thought it was worth also a quick mention of the pizza that we had for dinner that night, after some foraging in the fridge. I had bought a large wheel of Turkish bread at the market which I used as a pizza base (although you could make a pizza base like I did last year). I made a lovely pizza of parsnip, broccoli and gruyere cheese. I have written out what I did below as a reminder. We were quite happy with this after a large lunch but it wasn’t quite enough the next night when we had just been delicately snacking through the day. However it didn’t need a salad when we had a large helping of healthy fruit salad afterwards!
Summer Fruit Salad
200g cherries, pitted
2 nectarines, diced
2 blood plums, diced
1 tbsp agave nectar
Juice of half a lime
Leaves of 1 sprig of mint, chopped
Mix together, eat and swoon!
Parsnip, Broccoli and Gruyere Pizza
Serves 2 -4
⅔ of wheel of Turkish bread
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
½ carrot, peeled and chopped
Splash or two of milk
⅔ head of broccoli, finely chopped
1 tomato, halved and thinly sliced
½ shallot, finely sliced
100g gruyere cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 230 C.
Cook parsnips and carrots together in microwave or on stovetop till soft. Mash with milk and seasoning. Lightly microwave or steam broccoli.
Spread Turkish bread with parsnip mash. Scatter with tomato slices, then broccoli, then shallots and then cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes or til cheese is melted and golden brown.
On the Stereo:
How he loved the moon: Current 93