I think Mother Nature did a pretty good job when she worked out which ingredients belong to each season. If you use the right ingredients at the right time of year and treat them simply, it’s hard to go wrong. I hope my recipes bundled into their seasons inspire you to cook some delicious, delicious food. So get stuck in guys and get cooking!
The changing of the seasons is a truly beautiful thing; life just wouldn’t be as fun or as interesting without all four of them! For me, there’s no better transition than the one from winter to spring. We are coming into warmer weather and everyone starts to come out of hibernation with a big smile on their face that says, “I’m up for anything!” I look forward to roasting gorgeous spring lamb encased in plenty of rosemary sprigs, whisking up lazy asparagus and fontina cheese omelettes for my little family and baking my favourite warm rhubarb tart with thick red-purple stalks stolen from my garden.
Being relaxed comes pretty naturally to me. What can I say? I’m an Aussie; we’re just made that way I guess. I love summer for the sun, sand, surf and parties but I also embrace it for the alfresco dining under the evening sun that is in no rush to set and clean and simple food. Summer is also a time to share dishes – barbecued chilli-rubbed steaks with summer succotash popping with juicy freshness, tropical fruit salad with tangy pineapple and passionfruit, and who says soup is just for winter? Chilled gazpacho flavoured with ripe tomatoes is an impressive and elegant starter to serve to friends.
When early autumn approaches the winds start to pick up and the leaves begin to change colour, as does our appetite. And as the nights start to get shorter we feel like staying in and enjoying nourishing food in the comfort of our homes. It’s a great time for a roast, and some earthy and sweet root vegetables, like beetroot and parsnip, start to come into their own. Apples and pears are in their prime too, so it’s all about tarts, puddings and pies.
Winter can hit pretty hard in some places. I lived in London for most of my 20s so I get it. I’ve put down roots in Los Angeles now, so as you can imagine, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of a typical London winter. I actually really love hunkering down a little in these colder months though to spend more time lingering at the table and at the fireplace too (cradling a mug of rich and thick hot chocolate in my hands). Confession. I am a chocoholic and I make that known in the wintertime. Dinner may take a bit longer to prepare during winter but that doesn’t mean you have to be in the kitchen all evening. Warming foods like braised beef stew and white bean and chorizo soup can be prepped in advance. And it’s white truffle season… just heavenly shaved over silky homemade tagliatelle!