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Chickpeas are available all year round, but check the expiry-date on the packet, as old chickpeas do not soak or cook well.
Cook chickpeas and freeze for later use, or store cooked chickpeas in the fridge for a few days.
- Chickpeas should be soaked overnight before cooking. Boil in water or stock until soft, about 1-2 hours.
- Lightly toast cooked chickpeas in a frying pan until light golden. Drizzle with olive oil, season well and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Blend until smooth for hummus and other delicious dips. Great for vegetarians, chickpeas can be curried, added to pasta or soups or used on an antipasti platter.
Look for unblemished, smooth-skinned guavas. Avoid any that are bruised.
As guavas bruise easily, try not to store or pack them near anything sharp-edged. Keep them at room temperature to ripen. Once ripe, guavas can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
- Wash and dry guavas before eating. Eat the skin and seeds for fibre. Peel and dice for fruit salads, but don’t remove the seeds.
- Poach guavas with a little sugar and serve with ice cream.
- Add a dash of rum to liquidised guavas for a cocktail.
- Make a Turkish-style dessert by liquidising cooked guavas with a little lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream, plain yoghurt and rose-water and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.
Choose garlic chives that are crisp and dark green in colour. They should have a strong garlicky flavour, not to be confused with regular chives.
As these herbs have a short life span, rather buy as needed and store in plastic bags, so that they do not contaminate other foodstuffs in the fridge.
- Garlic chives are used widely in Asian cuisine, usually in meat, seafood and noodle dishes.
- They add vibrant flavour to salads and tomatoes.
- Add a few garlic chives when making herbed bread.
- Chopped chives look good and taste delicious with scrambled eggs.
- Chives make an attractive garnish for almost any dish.
Haloumi can be found in the cheese section at most supermarkets and delis. This typical Cypriot cheese is cream-coloured and flecked with mint, which gives it its distinctive taste.
Vacuum-packed haloumi can be frozen for up to a year in its own brine, or stored in the fridge in its original packaging. Once opened it should be eaten within a few days.
- Fry or grill haloumi slices until golden and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Cooked or plain haloumi makes a textured addition to salads and wraps.
- Cut haloumi into cubes, coat in lightly beaten egg, roll in breadcrumbs and deep-fry. Serve as a snack with a yoghurt and dill dip.
Fruit and vegetables in season
Fennel, green asparagus, guavas, Hass avocados, Kiwi fruit, naartjies, Ryan avocados, Star Ruby grapefruit, strawberries, sweet potatoes, white asparagus
Edranol avocados, Marsh grapefruit, minneolas, parsnips, star fruit, waterblommetjies
Text by Anna Montali. Photographs by Willem de Lange. This article is featured courtesy of the September 2010 edition of Food and home magazine.
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