To help you prepare, we’re here to share the three most versatile WA ingredients that need to be in your shopping trolley this festive season.
With these three in-season ingredients you can create a plethora of simple yet delicious Christmas dishes. From mains, to salads to desserts – these ingredients can really do it all. Without further ado, here you have it:
1. MT BARKER BLUEBERRIES
Mt Barker blueberries are in-season in summer so Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy these purple beauties. People often think that the sweetness of blueberries means they should only be used in desserts but this is certainly not the case. This is not to say that they aren’t fantastic in a trifle or on top of a pavlova, but blueberries are also a great ingredient for your ham glaze as they are not too sweet and will give it a nice tang. To make our go-to blueberry ham glaze, start by simply heating a cup of blueberries with a touch of sugar. Then add some water and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the blueberries burst. Finish by stirring in some maple syrup.
Blueberries are also beautiful in salads. One of our favourite Christmas side dishes is a blueberry, blue cheese and walnut salad. The salad simply combines fresh blueberries with walnuts, ribbons of cucumber, greens and red onion. And of course blue cheese (we love the St Duke Blue by Ha Ve Harvey Cheese). Then simply make an olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice dressing. This salad is so quick to prepare and is the perfect fresh complement to Christmas meats.
2. CAPE FARM SHOP BALSAMIC VINEGAR
A good quality balsamic vinegar is another must for the festive season. One of our favourites is from Cape Farm Shop in Margaret River. They’ve got everything from your traditional balsamic glaze to the more adventurous apple balsamic and raspberry balsamic.
Another quick and easy ham glaze is a cranberry and balsamic glaze. The sweet caramelised flavour is a great addition to the ham. To make the simple and quick glaze, simply heat a jar of cranberry sauce with two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
A Christmas side dish that we love is balsamic-glazed carrots. WA carrots are in season in summer so they’re always a great choice for Christmas. Simply combine half a cup of brown sugar with 30g of butter and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Pour over the carrots, season with salt and pepper and then bake in the oven.
And last but not least, in the sweets department, we have our balsamic strawberry pavlova. You really can’t have a Christmas feast without a pavlova and we think this twist on the traditional pavlova is an absolute winner. At first, you may feel a little apprehensive about using balsamic in a dessert but trust us on this one, it adds that perfect zing to offset the sweetness.
Whilst you’re cooking your pavlova, place a punnet of strawberries (look out for WA Berry Sweet Strawberry Farm) in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Stir and then set aside for 15 minutes to macerate. Once your pavlova is cooked, place on a serving plate and add cream (we can’t go past Bannister Downs) and strawberries. Finish it off by drizzling some of the strawberry balsamic syrup on top. Voila!
3. WA PISTACHIO NUTS
WA Pistachios add a fantastic crunch to all your favourite Christmas recipes. Add them to your trifle or your Christmas rocky road for a great hit of saltiness to balance the sweet flavours. One of our favourite ways to use pistachios at Christmas times is in your turkey stuffing. To make our classic pistachio turkey stuffing recipe, simply saute some onion and garlic in a pan until fragrant. Set aside in a bowl whilst you process some bread in a food processor. Then add the onion mixture to the bread with a handful of pistachio nuts, finely chopping rosemary and parsley. We like to finish it off by putting some lemon and orange rind in to add a zing to the stuffing.
So there you have it, this festive season be sure to add a touch of sweetness with blueberries, a zing with balsamic and a crunch with pistachios.
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas enjoying some beautiful WA produce with your family and friends. Remember to look out for Buy West Eat Best produce when shopping this festive season.