As we welcome the warmer weather, we are introduced to a fresh new Summer palate. From seafood to creamy goats cheese, Tasmanian chef Massimo Mele shares how he loves to enjoy Summer produce.
1. What produce is currently in season?
One of my favourite ingredients at this time of year is fresh squid from the north west of Tasmania. It’s not available all year round so I find it quite special to be able to eat it fresh, in fact, it’s one of my favourite things about Summer. Due to the heavy rain experienced in east Tasmania over winter, goats cheese and milk are both fantastic at the moment. We are making our own goats curd at the restaurant and using lots of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and Dutch cream potatoes from the Tamar Valley.
2. What advice would you give for cooking with summer ingredients?
Keep it simple and non-intrusive. Summer is about letting the produce shine and cooking simple food so you have more time to spend with your friends.
3. Do you have a technique preference?
I love steaming. It’s a great way to keep all the nutrients and retain the rich vitamins and minerals in vegetables. Another great way to cook in summer is over a fire pit in the backyard. It produces a beautiful char flavour for meats and vegetables.
4. Can you share your ‘go-to’ Summer recipe?
Summer for me means peaches at Christmas. My favourite recipe is baked peaches with marsala and ice cream, it’s an oldy but a goody!
6 yellow peaches
12 amaretti macaroons
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp. marsala
50g almonds, chopped
1tsp cocoa powder
1 lemon, zested
Splash of white wine
Extra butter and sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat oven 180 degrees
- Lightly grease an oven proof dish with butter. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and hollow out some of the flesh.
- Place the peach halves in the dish (the cut side up). Chop the peach pulp, crush the macaroons and stir together in a bowl with the egg yolks, marsala, almonds, sugar, cocoa and lemon zest. Mix well.
- Fill each of the peach halves with the mixture, sprinkle with white wine, dust with a little sugar and top with a small piece of butter on each peach.
- Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Once golden take out, cool slightly and serve warm with mascarpone or ice cream.