While there is no arguing that the season's bounty can be enjoyed with little more preparation than a wash and pat dry, it is also really easy and incredibly satisfying to incorporate fruit into meals.
Jenny Mercer from WA Farm Direct says that in Europe, fruit is a common salad ingredient and the concept is finally starting to gain momentum in Australia.
Often referred to as a superfood, blueberries are currently in plentiful supply and they're packed with powerful nutrients. They make a fantastic addition to salads. Toss together a handful of baby spinach, a handful of almonds, half a finely sliced red onion, 100g feta, some snow pea sprouts and a punnet of fresh WA blueberries. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Season well and serve.
Sweet and juicy, nectarines are a summer favourite because their skin is smooth and palatable, making them a winner with adults and children alike. Their firm flesh also makes them an ideal addition to summer stir-fries. Simply chop a selection of your favourite vegetables, such as Asian greens, capsicum, snow peas, baby corn, onion, fresh chilli and garlic, and saute together in a hot wok or frypan seasoned with a little oil. When the vegetables are softened, add some firm tofu pieces, a splash of your favourite stir-fry sauce and some chopped nectarine. Cook for another minute and serve immediately with rice or noodles.
Rich in vitamins A, C and E, peaches are one of those rare treats that are both delicious and exceptionally nutritious. Peel them or wash them well and rub gently to remove some of their fluff. Thanks to their juicy flesh, they are fantastic served in salads, especially when teamed with anything salty and firm. Try tossing together some mesclun mix, sliced jalapeños, baby bocconcini, marinated green olives, spring onions and some washed and chopped peaches. Drizzle generously with balsamic glaze and season well.
In plentiful supply during summer, there are several varieties of plums to try. The new Black Diamond variety, with its dark red skin and flesh, is sweet and juicy. Cook some couscous as per the instructions on the packet. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix well. Top the couscous with some shredded barbecue chicken, some chopped Black Diamond plums, a handful of pepitas, some chopped cucumber and some chopped spring onion. Mix together 2 tbsp plum sauce, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp white vinegar and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Whisk and drizzle over the salad. Serve immediately.