Madame Saisons: Green And Gold
by Sarah Ugazio
While summer’s colourful crops may be well behind us, we can still hold on to the last harvest of berries, red greenhouse cherry tomatoes and yellow sweet corn before winter takes her pound of fresh. Though the seasonal palate through May and June is decidedly green and gold on both the plate and ground.
Autumn menus should make the most of stir-fried Asian greens (bok choy, choy sum, chinese cabbage) perfectly paired with wok-seared mixed mushrooms, say shitake or oyster, all at peak perfection. Almost all our fungi friends are in their Autumnal prime, with wild varieties abundantly sporing, including saffron milk caps and slippery jacks, if foraging takes your fancy**. Truffles reign supreme for that special gourmet dinner party; while basic swiss brown or button mushrooms can provide an easy yet tasty mid-week side dish – simply sauté in butter, olive oil and either fresh chopped parsley or dried tarragon.
Another seasonal delight compensating for the cooling climate is the Jerusalem artichoke – a rather ugly tuber, with a subtle nutty, savory flavor (and not to be compared with the similarly named globe artichoke). Jerusalem artichoke risotto is the best known dish, however they can also be treated similarly to a potato – roasted, sautéed or pureed as a soup base.
Light mixed salads and mizuna in May will give way to punchier mustard greens and rocket in June, when fruits will be limited to apples and pears. Leafy green staples include spinach, silverbeet and cabbage, with rainbow chard offering a pop of colour. Equally, sturdier stemmed brassicas (broccoli, kale, cauliflower) will be plentiful throughout the cool seasons ahead; as will year-round root vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and beetroot giving some visual vibrancy to any cooked winter dish. On the whiter side of winter, parsnips chips are a welcome addition to any roast dinner.
Green and Gold
- 200g Button or Swiss Brown mushrooms sliced
- 1 Tbs Butter
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Fresh chopped parsley OR dried tarragon
- Salt and pepper
Heat oil in frypan over medium heat.
Add sliced mushrooms once butter has melted and just started foaming.
(Option 1) Sprinkle tarragon over mushrooms.
Sauté mushrooms until slightly browned and most of the moisture has been cooked out.
Season with salt and pepper.
(Option 2) Stir through fresh chopped parsley.
Transfer to serving plate.
**ensure to be accompanied by an expert foraging guide. Many toxic and deadly mushrooms look similar to edible varieties.
Follow Sarah on Instagram at @madamesaisons