The Weekend Australian - Life - - FOOD & DRINK - JU­DITH ELEN ju­dithat­[email protected]

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).

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