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Simple Seasonal Supper

Date: 29-Apr-10

Go Green Bag © Planet Ark

Foods out of season travel huge distances to get to our shops – often in refrigerated vehicles, and special packaging.

In Australia we’re blessed with abundant locally-grown fruit and vegetables. Food in season tastes better – it has the full nutritional content from being picked close to the time we eat it.  It’s usually cheaper (try buying a mango out of season!) and is cheaper on the environment by saving the emissions involved in extra packaging, transport and refrigeration.

In autumn, some of the fruit and veg in season are:

  • Apples, beans, beetroot, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, eggplant, figs, grapefruit, grapes, leeks, lettuce, mandarins, onions, parsnips, pears, peas, potatoes, rhubarb, silverbeet, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Here’s our fave recipe for the month, Baked Zucchini Risotto. While the oven’s on, why not do as our grandmas did – use the energy double and throw in some apples to bake for an tasty dessert!

Baked risotto with zucchini, tomato and parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 180 g (1 cup) arborio rice
  • 375 ml (11/2 cups) chicken stock or water
  • 400 g (14 oz) can chopped Roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 3 zucchini, finely sliced
  • 60 g (21/4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Shavings of Parmesan, for serving (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
  • Heat a 3 litre (12 cup) capacity ovenproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and sea salt and stir for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add the rice to the dish and stir for another minute. Add the stock or water and the chopped tomatoes and bring to simmering point. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper.
  • Cover the dish and bake the risotto for 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Scatter parsley over the top, sprinkle with Parmesan shavings if desired, and serve in the dish.

Baked Apples

  • Remove the core from apples, keeping some apple at the base.
  • Place them in a baking dish.
  • Add your choice of honey, dried fruit and nuts into the hole in the apples.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until brown and soft.
  • Serve with yoghurt, cream, ice-cream or as is!

More Info

Check out Environment Victoria’s Seasonal Food Guide and download their Calendar.

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