I have at all times believed that the easiest way to take pleasure in fruit – particularly summer time fruit at its peak – is to chunk into that candy or bitter, tart and juicy flesh. However there’s something to be stated for cooking with fruit, preserving its essence in jams or pairing it with chillies, florals, citrus, acid and spice for an explosion of flavours. Listed here are two nice examples of how I like to have fun summer time fruit in savoury dishes.
Watermelon kachumbari with hibiscus and citrus (pictured high)
Escape to the East African shores of Kenya and Tanzania, the place this scrumptious legacy of Indo-African flavours is far liked. With the added pleasure of thirst-quenching watermelon alongside conventional, sunshine-filled tomatoes and cucumber, I wished to take this even additional with a dashing dressing during which citrus flavours from the hibiscus, orange and lime marry superbly. The inexperienced chilli provides a savoury, tart dimension and an sudden tease of warmth.
Prep 10 min
Macerate 20 min
Prepare dinner 25 min
For the hibiscus dressing
Zest and juice of 1 orange (about 70-75ml)
Zest and juice of 1 lime (about 15ml)
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 tsp hibiscus powder (from healthfood retailers)
1 tbsp honey, or agave syrup
¼ tsp freshly floor black pepper
pinch of salt
For the salad
1 pink onion, peeled and thinly sliced
200g watermelon (about ¼ small watermelon)
200g cherry tomatoes, a mixture of pink and yellow, if attainable
1 jalapeño, or any gentle inexperienced chilli
25g basil leaves
Put the zest and juice of the orange and lime in a small saucepan, add the vinegar and warmth gently. Stir within the hibiscus powder, honey, pepper and salt, then take off the warmth, add the sliced onions, cowl and depart to macerate and funky for as much as 20 minutes.
In the meantime, put together the salad. Peel the the watermelon, minimize the flesh into roughly 2cm chunks and tip into a big bowl. Halve the tomatoes, minimize the cucumber into roughly 2cm chunks, and mince the chilli, then add all of them to the bowl. As soon as cooled, pour the hibiscus dressing and onions over the salad, toss to mix, then pop within the fridge till you’re able to eat.
To serve, tear the basil leaves and scatter over the salad, tossing as soon as extra earlier than devouring. Serve with roast or grilled fish, poultry or meat, particularly of the spicy variety – the hibiscus-soaked fruit will supply nice refreshment because it bursts in your mouth.
Strawberry and scotch bonnet jam with nigella seeds
Summer season’s bounty of candy and aromatic strawberries finds a scorching companion in scotch bonnets. These daring peppers, ubiquitous in West African cooking, usually encourage nice pleasure or apprehension. Fairly just like, and sometimes offered as, the extra pointy habanero, its fruity, citrus and spicy notes make it probably the most flavourful and dynamic peppers to cook dinner with. Serve this berry-bursting, tingly jam with grilled steak or hen, or use as a marinade or glaze; or simply smear it on buttery French toast, or serve with cheese and crackers – it’s fairly a deal with with a pointy, aged cheddar or zesty manchego. You will have two 300ml or three 200ml jam jars.
Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 1 hr
Makes 600g jam
1 scotch bonnet chilli, stems discarded
5cm piece recent ginger, peeled
2 tsp fennel seeds
12 inexperienced cardamom pods, seeds eliminated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (you’ll want about 2 tbsp juice)
300g preserving or jam sugar
½ tsp sea salt flakes or ¼ nice sea salt
1 tbsp nigella seeds
Warmth the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/fuel 6 and put a small saucer or plate within the freezer.
Hull the strawberries, give them a fast however thorough rinse, then pat dry to make sure they don’t take in an excessive amount of water. Minimize in half and tip right into a non-reactive saucepan.
Switch a giant handful of the berries to a blender or meals processor, then add the scotch bonnet and ginger.
Tip the fennel seeds right into a small saucepan, toast for a couple of minutes, till aromatic, then pour into the blender and add the cardamom and lemon zest and juice. Mix to a puree.
Put the saucepan of strawberries on a medium warmth, pour within the berry puree, scraping each final drop from the blender, then stir within the sugar and salt, and simmer for as much as 35 minutes, stirring just a few instances. The strawberries will start to launch their juices because it involves a boil. Use a masher or picket spoon to crush the berries, leaving appreciable chunks so you find yourself with a textured jam. And don’t waste any valuable jam by skimming the froth off the highest; one closing stir will put off it. As soon as the combination is thickened and shiny, take off the warmth. Significantly much less sugar than traditional is used on this jam, so setting is likely to be a priority, however don’t fear. You might be assured by spreading a tablespoonful of jam on to the saucer from the freezer. After a couple of minutes, fastidiously tilt it to face downwards and, if the crimson jam strikes ever so slowly down, it’s prepared. If not, it wants a bit of longer cooking.
As soon as the jam is prepared, stir within the nigella seeds, then fastidiously spoon the recent jam into scorching sterilised jars. Seal, depart to chill, then retailer in a cool, darkish place, the place it can hold for as much as three months; as soon as opened, refrigerate and use inside a month.