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The A Team: Quinces & Corn

This month, our A-Team’s boxes were all yellow, with quinces and corn the order of the day.

Quinces are such a gift at the start of autumn – almost like nature’s way of apologising for the blusteriness ahead. Look for vivid yellow and a floral aroma – and fluff is ok too, just wipe it off with a damp cloth or paper towel before use. Quinces are perfect roasted or poached with spices, or turned into jelly (a long, but rewarding process). However, they can also be added to savoury stews and casseroles, as Paola has chosen to do, and through cakes and breads.

Joanne’s quince and Macadamia tart is a triumph, playing on some classic flavour-pairing with the addition of goat’s cheese. They’re only around for another month or so, so get quincing! On the other hand, even though corn is available year-round, the best time to eat it is right now, while it’s still super-sweet and super fresh. Look for firm, green husks and golden silk.

Don’t be afraid to open the husk a little and check out the kernels inside – it’s the market, after all. Joanne’s combination of corn and quince salad may seem challenging at first, but the sweetness of each ingredient, pared back with the nuttiness of quinoa, will work well for midweek lunches or an after work snack.

Corn and Quince Recipes:

Corn and Quinoa Salad: Recipe by Joanne Feehan

Quince and Goat’s Cheese Tart: Recipe  by Joanne Feehan

Schiacciata alle mele cotogne (sweet quince bread)- Recipe by Paola

“Schiacciata is a bread with fruit, a squashed bread if you like (schiacciare means to crush or squash) that is typical of Florence in autumn, when grapes are in season. It is a simple dish that requires no specialised equipment, is hand-made, rustic and beautiful, especially if made with purple wine grapes, so that the purple juice spills into the dough. Wine grapes however are hard to find and the season is sadly very short. So taking this idea, I transferred it to one of my favourite autumn fruits, quinces, or in Italian, mele cotogne.”

Spezzatino alle mele cotogne (beef and quince stew): Recipe by Paola

“I have never really cooked Persian food before, but when I received a monthly bag of goodies from the Prahran Market, which included quinces, I searched online for a savoury dish that uses quinces. Pork was one option (though I rarely eat pork) but I liked the sound of a Persian beef dish with quinces – khoreshe behh. I made a few changes based on what I had in the pantry, therefore it is a rich Persian-inspired stew rather than an authentic khoreshe behh. It is totally delicious though – the beef is cooked at length until melt-in-your-mouth tender and the quinces which have been previously tossed in butter are slow cooked with the beef for an hour. The combination of the two is divine. I served the dish with some steamed rice, tossed with finely chopped spring onion. I like to think that this might have been similar to one of the exotic dishes I had as a teenager in Italy at Parinaz’ house – at least it brings those memories back to me.”

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