February is the last official month of summer – so if you’re cooking for your sweethearts this Valentine ’s Day chefs recommend keeping the menu design nice and simple. Beyond that the secret to success is selecting sexy ingredients; pick the best quality seasonal produce that promises to release the richest flavours into your dish, and consider using recipes built around ingredients that have purported aphrodisiacal properties.
Passionfruit and blueberries are in season, so why not try your hand at a nitro poached passionfruit meringue?
Arriving at your local market, you’ll be pleased to find tomatoes easing in price with a steady line of Victorian Roma tomatoes available from key sources. This time of year you may want to select the deepest, alluring red colour tomatoes for your down and dirty dishes; there are vast options of truss and punnet tomatoes rounding out your options including cherry tomatoes, tom thumb, grape, medley and bella rossa tomatoes. Though don’t overlook the potential of contrasting your scarlet-skinned tomatoes with kumatoes, which radiate with a definite black hue – welcome their dark, mysterious and seductive contrast to your succulent serving. Thinking about desserts first is a bit dangerous as you may never make it to the mains. That said, if you opt for a decadent ending to your meal, consider adding strawberries to the mix because they, too, have the potential to ignite the flames of passion.
There’s nothing stopping you from being a sexy chef all month long, though realistically it’s understood that most seductive efforts will surround Valentine’s Day on the 14th February. Keeping in mind the other days of the month, here is a comprehensive list of seasonal produce for you to enjoy all February long.
Fruits In Season
Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Berries – blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, mulberries, raspberries and strawberries; Cherries, Figs, Grapes, Guava, Kiwi fruit, Limes, Lychees, Mangoes, Mangosteen, Melons – honeydew, rockmelon and watermelon; Nectarines, Oranges – Valencia in particular; Paw Paws, Passionfruit, Peaches, Pears - Howell, Williams & Red Sensation; Pineapples, Plums, Rambutan, Stonefruit – apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums; and Tomatoes.
Vegetables In Season
Asian Greens, Beans - borlotti, butter, flat, green & snake; Broccoli, Broccolini, Capsicum, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chilli, Choko, Cucumber, Daikon, Eggplant, Lettuce, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatos, Okra, Onion – brown, salad & spring; Peas – green, snow & sugar snaps; Radish, Watercress, Zucchini and Zucchini Flowers.