Seasonal in February
Fruit and Vegetables
At its best: January to March
The chicory plant produces long, distinctive leaves that are crisp and mildly bitter. Chicory can be eaten raw in a salad, or cooked, boiled or steamed. Make sure to trim any cracked or discoloured ends or limp outer leaves and avoid those with green tips to prevent any bitterness.
Chef Suggestions: Chicory can be quite bitter in its natural state. To pair with a dish, try pairing with blue cheese, pear, and walnut to create a fruitful salad.
We recommend: When cooking, try cutting it in half lengthways and caramelise with a touch of orange to add sweetness.
Flavour Pairings: Pairs well with orange, caramel, seafood, shellfish, and blue cheese.
At its best: October to April
Broccoli has a distinctive yet mild flavour, with vegetal notes and a touch of sweetness and bitterness. It’s great when pureed into soup, thrown raw into a salad, or tossed in a stir-fry. Roasted or sauteed broccoli works well as a green side dish – it pairs best with cheese, chilli, garlic, sesame and other strong flavours and seasonings.
Chef Suggestions: Whether you are preparing tenderstem or traditional broccoli, maximise its full use by preparing both the stalk and florets. Don’t waste anything as the juicy stalks provide great depth of flavour.
We recommend: You can enjoy broccoli steamed or blanched. For a stronger taste profile, try grilling or roasting. Perfect side with roast dinners, laksa, Asian-inspired dishes and great stir-fried.
Flavour pairings: Great with almonds, peanuts, hazelnut, soy, ginger, blue cheese, garlic, chilli, and lemon.
At its best: September and October
Pears have unique and delicate flavours that, depending on the variety, can range from juicy and buttery to firm and crisp. When perfectly ripe, they have a floral fragrance, a smooth creamy taste, and earthy undertones that add complexity to dishes. Overall, the flavour of a pear is a combination of sweetness, tartness, and subtle nuances that make it a popular and delicious fruit.
Chef Suggestions: To kick you off, you can't go wrong with some classic combinations. For instance, a pear and almond tart where the pears are baked to intensify the flavours, accompanied by a frangipane of almonds. Another classic is red wine-poached pears, which still retain wonderful depth, especially with aromatics like star anise. Fresh, buttery fleshed Comice pears are wonderful when simply served in a salad with blue cheese and walnuts.
We recommend: Use of pears in sweet dishes such as tarts, cakes, and pies, or in savoury dishes like salads and roasted meats.
Flavour profile: Depending on the type of pear, they can range from tangy to sweet, and from crisp to buttery.
Flavour pairings: The sweet character of pears makes them great for sharp cheeses and ingredients with a high tannin quality (such as walnuts and red wine). Pears also combine well with bitter notes, such as endive and acidic ingredients like lemon. They also pair well with warm spices like nutmeg and cardamom, making them a versatile ingredient for a wide range of recipes.
- For sweet pairings include cinnamon, ginger, honey, vanilla, and caramel.
- For savoury pairings include cheese, nuts, prosciutto, and herbs such as thyme and rosemary.