How to pair fruit and veg­eta­bles.

BTHREEA KING fruit Be a and risk-taker. veg will Th­ese make 10 this killer sum­mer com­bi­na­tions taste amaz­ing of

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - MATT PRE­STON

Cook­ing is largely about rules. Mod­ern cui­sine is of­ten about break­ing them. While the home cook sel­dom mixes veg­eta­bles with fruit, the un­usual pair­ing is in­creas­ingly com­mon in some high-end restau­rants.

Set to be one of this sum­mer’s hottest trends, lead­ing the charge is Parisian chef Alain Pas­sard, king of plant cui­sine who aban­doned meat at his 3-star Miche­lin restau­rant 16 years ago. Pas­sard cham­pi­ons blur­ring the line be­tween what hangs off a branch and what grows in the ground. “J’adore peach and red pep­per,” he told an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist a cou­ple of years back. “It’s grandiose. I love cu­cum­ber and straw­berry; zuc­chini and fig. And my favourite is tomato and pear in early Septem­ber.”

So, this week let’s look at 10 great ways (and one other odd one) where you can mix and match fruit and veg­eta­bles suc­cess­fully at home. Hope­fully you’ll ‘adore’ at least one of th­ese com­bos.

AP­PLE SOUP?

Roast wedges of Granny Smith ap­ple along­side pump­kin for your pump­kin soup. Blend to­gether with hot chicken stock. The ap­ple will add bright­ness and light­ness to the win­tery soup mak­ing it per­fect to eat in warmer weather.

FLEX­I­BLE AP­PLE

Ap­ple is so ver­sa­tile. Try toss­ing ba­tons in lemon juice to add to an ice­berg salad with roasted grapes, cu­cum­ber and feta. Or give sweet­ness to curry sauces like that other French wun­derkind, Alain Du­casse, with his cookpot of beet­root, car­rot, cele­riac and pump­kin. Th­ese are baked on a fen­nel curry sauce sweet­ened with a fine dice of ap­ples and pears. And Brae’s Dan Hunter has proved in the most de­li­cious way that parsnip and ap­ple be­long to­gether in a dessert.

ACID IS YOUR FRIEND

An­other se­cret for bring­ing fruit into the savoury world is to ac­cen­tu­ate its acid­ity. Try mak­ing a salad of toma­toes with chunks of ripe plum. You’ll be amazed how vinai­grette can unite th­ese two un­likely bed­fel­lows. Wa­ter­melon works al­most as well as plums. Or try the ’80s clas­sic of mar­ry­ing thin slices of straw­berry and cu­cum­ber un­der a sim­i­lar dress­ing, per­haps hit with sour cream for a richer tex­ture.

SALT IS YOUR FRIEND TOO

It’s no dif­fer­ent us­ing grilled peaches or slices of pear in a rocket or spinach salad with some­thing salty like goat’s cheese, pro­sciutto or parme­san to drag the fruit into the savoury realm.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Orange is one of the eas­i­est fruits to part­ner with veg­eta­bles, whether in a salad with beet­root or radic­chio, or roasted with car­rots and gin­ger. Add a sticky mix of car­rot and orange to warm cous­cous with crushed co­rian­der seeds and mint to eat with lamb or pork chops.

24- CAR­ROT GOLD

Car­rots’ sweet­ness makes them ca­pa­ble of star­ring in ev­ery­thing from a car­rot cake to a fudgy In­dian car­rot halwa. Make a hot car­rot and roast peach puree to serve with pork or roast duck, or shred car­rots and ap­ple, then com­bine with a cur­ried yo­ghurt dress­ing to serve as a slaw with burg­ers or chicken schnitzel.

WHEN IS VEG NOT VEG?

Botanists do make this quite tricky. Are toma­toes, cu­cum­ber, av­o­ca­dos and co­conuts fruits or veg­eta­bles? The first three are classed as types of berry, but given their pre­dom­i­nant use as savoury in­gre­di­ents it’s eas­ier for us to see them as veg­eta­bles. A co­conut is classed as a fruit, or more ac­cu­rately, it is a drupe, like stone fruit. Co­conut part­ners with cau­li­flower well in a puree to serve along­side seafood or poached chicken, and is equally de­li­cious toasted in a fry­pan with rib­bons of cab­bage.

BIT­TER­SWEET

Bit­ter, leafy greens can re­ally ben­e­fit from the acid­ity fruit brings to the party. Add grape­fruit seg­ments to a kale salad, or turn your favourite green juice into a salad by toss­ing kale, spinach leaves, cu­cum­ber, cel­ery, ap­ple and grapes with lime juice, olive oil and salt flakes.

THE BEST SUR­PRISES

Some­times the best com­bi­na­tions are the most sur­pris­ing. Phoebe Wood, de­li­cious. food di­rec­tor, swears by fresh figs and as­para­gus with bread­crumbs, a tangy cheese and a driz­zle of vino cotto.

DO IT IN DESSERT

Try us­ing fra­grant veg­eta­bles in desserts. The aniseed flavour of roasted or can­died fen­nel goes well with straw­ber­ries, while cel­ery, de­stringed and thinly sliced, works with pears or fresh black­ber­ries, bring­ing bri­ary notes to the berries.

PARSNIP BA­NANAS, SE­RI­OUSLY?

In war-torn Bri­tain, peo­ple roasted parsnips with rum and beet sugar as a sub­sti­tute for the un­avail­able ba­nanas. Us­ing this as in­spi­ra­tion and bake some parsnips, then add peeled, halved ba­nanas to the tray near the end of cook­ing. Toss in a dress­ing made from but­ter, maple syrup and mus­tard seeds. Throw over crushed, salted cashews and serve with Sun­day’s roast chicken.

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