I have a confession to make: I’m not really that sad that summer is coming to a close.
Truth be told, I’m not summer’s biggest fan. I know, I know. Crazy. And apparently, as I’m Australian, I’m supposed to love the heat.
Well, learning to tolerate something is not quite the same as loving it. And now, having lived in London for over four years, I fear my tolerance levels have dropped. I nearly passed out when the thermometer hit 26 degrees Celsius a few weeks ago and felt like I was constantly melting when it was mid-high thirties the whole time I was in Barcelona. How on earth did I ever survive for three whole months of oft 30-40 degree days every year?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate many of the perks of summer – lighter evenings, dining al fresco, work lunches by the river, outdoor cinema, summer travels, markets galore… But when it comes down to it, I just prefer the winter months. Maybe it’s one of the reasons I’ve fallen so hard for London with its fleeting summers and drawn out winters; I love cosy evenings in the pub and I love donning cute coats and hats and boots and mittens. I love the silence of falling snow, the smell of crisp winter air and waking up to a fresh blanket of white on the ground, dotted with little fox and hare prints. I love that it’s the season for skiing and skating and building snowmen and making snow angels. I love seeing my breath in the air and the glimmer of frost on the grass and flowers. I love being part of the Winter Wonderland that all the Christmas crooners extol the virtues of. I. Just. Love. Winter.
But waffling aside, there is one thing that summer has over winter 100%… the fruit! I love all fruits (with the sole exception of the lychee) but give me a summery melon or stone fruit over a wintery orange or apple any day. And anyone who says fruit it just for breakfast or snacking is plain wrong. I’m a big fan of mixing sweet with savoury and a few weeks ago discovered that you can stir-fry mango. Hence…
Water Chestnut & Mango Stir-Fry
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon diced chilli
1/2 tsp diced ginger
225g water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
60g broccoli, cut into florets
1 small courgette
1 large mango, peeled and cubed
40g baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds
Pepper, to season
1. Heat oil in large wok or pan. Add garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown.
2. Add water chestnuts, broccoli and courgette and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes then add mango and soy sauce and fry for further 3-4 minutes until vegetables are staring to brown. Stir in baby spinach and sesame seeds and fry for 1-2 minutes until spinach wilts. Season with pepper before serving.
Serve over basmati rice.