40 MATT PRE­STON

On Valen­tine’s Day think about this… Fruit and veg­eta­bles are just like men, and – just like men – there are some you can­not trust

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - @mattscra­vat @Mattscra­vat Find more veg­etable in­sights and recipes on de­li­cious.com.au MATT PRE­STON

The de­lights of for­bid­den fruit.

POTA­TOES and car­rots, ap­ples and grapes, or­anges and lemons; these are prime ex­am­ples of the sort of fruit and veg­eta­bles that you can trust. Not only can they be re­lied upon, they can also pleas­antly sur­prise you with their ver­sa­til­ity.

These are the de­pend­able ‘keep­ers’ of the ed­i­ble botan­i­cal world; the sort of din­ing com­pan­ion you could hap­pily grow old with – even if they are a lit­tle bor­ing.

Mean­while the pineap­ple and the av­o­cado are like the per­fect tradie date. They might be a lit­tle rough on the out­side but they’re won­der­ful on the in­side – ei­ther bright, sunny and sweet or but­ter smooth and yield­ing when ripe.

Then, of course, there are the fruits and veg­eta­bles you just can­not trust.

PEAR

The fruit you can­not change. Too of­ten they prom­ise a life of juicy sweet­ness but when you get them home they never soften, no mat­ter how much time you give them. Face it, too of­ten some pears will never give you the sweet­ness you crave – or you de­serve. Move on al­ready.

(Find a ripe pear, how­ever, and it’s a joy like find­ing that uni­corn of a date – one that’s gen­er­ous, full of sub­stance and per­fectly sweet, with just enough bite to keep them in­ter­est­ing. Sadly, ripe pears like this are the uni­corns of the fruit world – as are men like this.)

STAR FRUIT

The Tin­der mis­take of the fruit world. It looks pretty but there’s not much there when you take a bite. Far too many have fallen for a bloke like this, and re­gret it when he’s turned up for the date in a leather fly­ing jacket, com­edy Hawai­ian shirt and re­gret­table pants.

PERSIMMON

The ‘mummy’s boy’ of the fruit world. It’s so soft and jel­ly­like when ripe that it bruises badly when taken too far from home (and the tree on which it was grown). Waaay too needy.

PEACH

What else is fuzzy? Ten­nis balls and teenage boys. The peach may have con­no­ta­tions of per­fectly de­lec­ta­ble body parts, but don’t be fooled.

NEC­TARINE

Just a peach with a shave and a slap of mois­turiser. With­out the lure of its fur­rier cousin, the nec­tarine has some catch­ing up to do to de­serve a love bite.

JERUSALEM AR­TI­CHOKE

The clue is in the name al­though they’re not so much arty as farty. If only blokes were as hon­estly named. I hear soak­ing them in wa­ter with le­mon juice helps, al­though sadly that’s only for the ar­ti­choke.

BA­NANA

It might be starchy, hard and un­palat­able when young, but as it gets older it be­comes far, far sweeter. Trou­ble is, by then it has lost its sleek skin and looks like a mot­tled mess. It can also be way too soft.

PARSNIP

Might be sweet but can have a hard heart. Give it a good roast­ing if you do cross its path. You won’t be sorry.

EGG­PLANT

Like a bro­ken ex, some egg­plants might look great but they can be in­cred­i­bly bit­ter. At least the egg­plant’s bit­ter­ness can be re­moved just by salt­ing – as op­posed to a year of ther­apy, or dat­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ately younger women un­til they come to their senses.

BEET­ROOT

The heart­breaker of the veg world. Sweet, earthy and quite de­li­cious but will leave an in­deli­ble stain.

DURIAN

Tastes like heaven but smells like hell. It’s been banned from air­ports, too, so there’s no tak­ing this fruit any­where.

CELE­RIAC

Bad boys have al­ways had a bit of a thing about them. With the face of a badly dis­fig­ured mafia hit­man, this root veg might look like the world’s ugli­est potato, but it ac­tu­ally tastes like cel­ery. De­cep­tive or what?

Un­like most bad boys (or girls) who hint that you might be the one to re­ha­bil­i­tate/tame them, cele­riac is a gen­uine ‘fixer-up­per’ in the veg world. Give it a makeover by grat­ing it then cook­ing it in milk* to give you some­thing quite de­sir­able – a su­per-smooth but rather tasty mash or creamy soup.

*Please do not at­tempt this with a mafia hit­man.

TIME FOR A GRILLING Af­ter salt­ing, make this grilled egg­plant with black bean vinai­grette. Find a recipe you can trust on de­li­cious.com.au

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