We are in that interesting time of year that used to be called the hungry gap. We don’t have any concept of the hungry gap any more these days. Food is continually shipped, back and forth, all around the globe, all year round. This is the age of globalisation. Foods that used to be seasonal are now ever present.
In Australia, we can have all the available foods from the supermarket at all times of year, but Janine and I choose not to subscribe to this paradigm. We stick pretty strictly to eating what we grow ourselves. Here in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, we find that with global warming, there are so few frosts, so we can grow a whole range of seasonal vegetables that are suitable for this climate. From the coolest Brussels Sprouts, to the warmest avacados.
Tonights dinner is a combination of new and old. Fresh vegetables, zucchinis, onions and garlic from the garden, spiced up with some dried tomatoes from the fridge. These are the old component of the meal. Harvested late last summer from the garden, dried and preserved in oil.
I slowly soften the onions over a low heat in some good olive oil, then later when they are glowing and translucent, I add the garlic, then the sliced zucchinis and finally the preserved, dried tomatoes. I cover the pan and let it sit on a very low heat for some time to let the zucchinis sweat out their juices and slowly soften into the oily, intensely tomato flavoured mixture.
While the vegetables are sweating down and softening, I cook two lovely pieces of sword fish. Pan fried in olive oil, turned once and allowed to crisp up a little then steamed in their own juices under a lid for a few moments. while I serve up, I deglaze the pan with a little chardonnay, because it is open, and reduce the sauce a little, then serve. Sword fish, with new and old vegetables from the garden.
For a desert, The lovely One has stewed a few of the mid season peaches. All the early peaches are long gone now. These midseason varieties are a little hard to skin, so she blanches them in a minimum of water for a couple of minutes to make them easier to peel. It also preserves them, when they are frozen in the freezer, for later breakfasts.
She is about to discard the stewing water, when I take it and add a little sugar, then proceed to put it on a very low heat, at the back of the stove, to reduce it down to a near toffee-like thickness and concentration. it is really delicious, poured over the blanched peaches.
Reduced stewing liquor, poured over blanched fresh peaches. An old idea, bringing out the best of the new fruit.