Say goodbye to heavy winter meals and hello to a diverse new spring flavour palate. We sat down with Tasmanian chef, Massimo Mele, to see how he shakes things up with the change of seasons.
1. What produce in Tasmania is currently in season?
We’re very lucky to have an abundance of great produce in season during spring. Here in the Apple Isle, you can find asparagus, broad beans, beetroot, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke and so much more.
2. Which of these seasonal ingredients are you currently using? Why?
I love making the most of the different varieties of carrot available in spring. They make for very interesting flavours and are so versatile – at the moment we’re baking them in a salted dough and serving with locally made curd. Cabbages are also a big hit this time of year. Whether boiled, steamed, baked or caramelised, they’re always delicious.
3. What cooking techniques best match up with spring ingredients?
I think spring cooking requires a subtle approach. In winter we go big, but in spring, everything is fresh and new to the kitchen. Season your meals delicately and cook gently. My golden rule for cooking in spring: Keep it simple.
4. What other dishes make an appearance in spring?
I would say a fresh beetroot salad with a hint of citrus. You also can’t go wrong with a fresh fillet of marinated fish!
5. Can you share your ‘go-to’ spring recipe?
My go-to would be my Ox Heart Tomato Salad with Stracciatella Cheese. The cheese is a delicious surprise, really complimenting the freshness of the produce.
500g ox heart tomatoes
200g Stracciatella cheese
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
12 rocket leaves
8 basil leaves torn Sea salt Pepper
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper
- Cut the tomatoes diagonally “across the grain”, so you get what resembles a tomato steak
- Place the tomatoes in a tray
- Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper, olive oil and vinegar
- Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes
- Fold in the stracciatella cheese and basil leaves
- Season with fresh cracked pepper set aside
- To serve, place the tomatoes on a serving plate, top with stracciatella cheese and rocket leaves. Perfect with some warm crusty bread