Thai Granny Smith Apple and Chicken Salad. Picture: Supplied
Thai Granny Smith Apple and Chicken Salad. Picture: Supplied

RECIPES: Cook autumn’s best green produce

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Spring always gets the praise for having the best produce. But there’s something about autumn produce that has one wanting to spend time in the kitchen and cooking up a storm.

I strongly believe that autumn has the best green produce. Think about it - broccoli, apples, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, pears, leeks, green beans, kale, lettuce, peppers, spinach and courgettes are just some of the produce we will see on the fresh produce aisles in shops soon.

And with so many diverse ways of cooking these greens, it has made us appreciate them more.

Take Brussels sprouts. More people are embracing the once hated veg, because they realised they had prepared it wrong. Instead of boiling it and serving it with barely any seasoning, we now roast, grill or stir-fry the sprouts, making sure their natural flavour is allowed to shine.

So, how about you save yourself some money, buy your autumn produce in season and also cook it in ways that even the most difficult to impress person, will be smacking their lips afterwards?

Thai Granny Smith Apple and Chicken Salad

Granny Smith apples are great for so much more than apple pie, we hope you'll try this recipe out, it's so good.

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith apples, julienned

1 cup coriander leaves

1 cup mint leaves

½ red onion, thinly sliced

3 shallots, chopped

500g chicken breast, grilled and shredded

½ cup cashew nuts, chopped

Dressing

100ml lime juice

1 tsp sesame oil

3 tsp fish sauce

¼ cup caster sugar

2 Birdseye chillies, chopped

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

Method

Place the apple, coriander, mint, red onion, shallots, chicken and cashew nuts in a large bowl. Lightly toss to evenly combine all the ingredients.

To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake until well combined, and the sugar has dissolved slightly. Pour onto the salad and toss well to combine.

Broccoli with butter bean dressing (Serves 4)

Broccoli with butter bean dressing

Ingredients

400g tender stem broccoli

30ml olive oil

15ml lemon juice

salt and pepper

Butter bean dressing

400g tin of butter beans, drained

1 garlic clove, crushed

60ml olive oil

15ml lemon juice

30ml white wine vinegar

a pinch of chilli flakes

125ml fresh parsley

60ml chopped chives

salt and pepper

Method

Boil the broccoli in salted water for five minutes, until just tender, then plunge into ice water. Drain well and pour over the oil and lemon juice.

Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a processor and blend until smooth. Check for seasoning. Pour over the cooked broccoli.

Marmalade-glazed green beans (Serves 4)

040416. Angela Day Green. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko 577

Ingredients

280g green beans, trimmed

5ml salt

125ml orange marmalade

30ml soy sauce

5ml Sriracha sauce

60ml flaked almonds, toasted

Method

Bring water to the boil and add the green beans and salt.

Cook for five minutes or until the green beans are just tender. Strain the beans and place in ice water.

Meanwhile in a small pot, combine the marmalade, soy and Sriracha sauce and cook on low for five minutes until melted.

Drain the beans into a bowl, pour over the marmalade sauce and mix together well.

Place on a serving dish and scatter the toasted almonds over.

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette (Serves 6)

Ingredients

avocado oil, for frying

450g Brussels sprouts, dried, halved, and trimmed

flaky sea salt

Cider vinaigrette

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon apple butter or fig preserves

1 medium shallot, grated

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon orange zest

kosher salt and black pepper

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Method

In a medium Dutch oven, heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high. When the oil shimmers, carefully add 1/3 of the Brussels sprouts. Cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining sprouts.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk or shake to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange the sprouts on a serving plate and lightly toss with the vinaigrette.

For more autumn recipes, read the latest issue of the IOL FOOD magazine here:

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