Late summer, mellowing into autumn, is rewarding at market stalls. Today’s ingredients echo the turning season. Green beans, more textured than summery leaves, have bite and snap; earthy-toned
figs are fragrant and sumptuous, while rabbit, among the most rustic of meats, evokes thoughts of fields and open country, whether wild or farmed.
Doug Horridge (Tasmanian Fresh Farmed Rabbits, Glencroft Farm, Penguin), supplies restaurants and butchers. Or try Marcus Vermey (Vermey’s Meats, Sandy Bay), go-to man for Rodney Dunn of the Agrarian Kitchen (south of Hobart). Lenah Game Meats of Tasmania has rabbits in Tasmania’s north.
At Hobart Farm Gate tomorrow, Nick Cummings (Urban Bounty) will have handmade rabbit, speck and cider pies, using wild rabbit from Robinson Meats (a butcher’s shop at Glenorchy), sourced “from the mainland, probably western Victoria”.
Ripe, peak-season figs are sublime alone or in partnership (white or blue cheeses; fresh or toasted, caramelised walnuts). Our season is brief, from March into April. Adelaide Showground market says the best fruit comes from “hot, dry areas with plenty of water for the roots”; Adelaide and Willunga have figs and fig products. Peter Frankham’s Black Genoa figs are centre stage at Hobart Farm Gate (early, after a hot, dry summer). Try Victorian markets, Northside and others in Sydney and Queensland (see chef’s notes).