I know that officially it’s still August – just – but Spring has unofficially sprung here on the Sunshine Coast. The fruit and veggies that had been missing from the markets over the winter are now beginning to reappear, and we’re eating way too much of the Gympie cheese man’s fabulous butter and fresh goats curd – not to mention Maleny Cheese’s unsweetened yoghurt…yum!
Avocados are super cheap at the moment – 7 for $5 at the markets last week. Berries are still very affordable, and the huge bags of leaves that we buy for the princely sum of $3 seem to be never ending – and last so much longer than leaves from the supermarket ever did.
So what to do with this produce?
Our Saturday lunches have of late been a platter of freshly baked baguettes from La Rilettes, butter and cheese from Gympie cheese, tomatoes from Noosa Reds, and locally produced salami. All local, all fresh, all bought from the market. It makes us feel as if we’re French or something.
We managed to get some sashimi grade (local) tuna from the fisheries for dinner on Saturday night and prepared it as an entrée in a raw tuna salad of sorts. Everything in it – other than the crème fraiche and the sesame oil – was sourced at the markets on Saturday morning.
To start with I juiced a knob of ginger. We don’t have a juicer, so essentially this meant grating it and straining the juice out. Yes, I know this means some faffing around, but trust me – it’s worth it. I mixed this through a couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche and set it aside.
For the salad I diced a couple of small tomatoes, and a small avocado. To this I added a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped shallot, about the same of chopped spring onions, a birds eye chilli (we left the seeds in) – also finely chopped – and another smallish knob of grated ginger. Stir through 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, the juice of half a lime, and a pinch of salt. At the last minute, stir through finely diced tuna. I reckon we had about 150g between us as an entrée, but I’m pretty crap at this whole measuring thing. We served it in a pile on the plate – hello, I’m no food stylist – with coriander leaves and the gingery crème fraiche drizzled over the top.
Another more fancy pants way of serving this salad is in little Chinese spoons as canapés. Does anyone actually do canapés these days?
If you prefer your tuna cooked, sear it, but only just – it should still rare in the centre – and slice it thinly. You can then serve this salad as a sort of a salsa on the side. Still drizzle over the gingery dressing and maybe top with some roasted black sesame seeds.
And there you have it – the same ingredients, but served three different ways.
What about you? What’s your favourite market?
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