Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents Wild marron
The wild marron season (January 8 to February 5)
is your chance to enjoy a uniquely West Australian
experience. While these delectable native freshwater
crustaceans can be found as far north as Geraldton,
the state's South West is marron heartland. Bag
limits and minimum sizes do apply (particularly in the
"trophy waters" of Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam and
Hutt River where the big 'uns roam) but other than
that, everyone's free to set some time aside this sum-
mer to roll up their trousers and catch a feed. Cook
them any way you like, but the time-honoured camp-
site method of preparation is to either boil them up
in a stove-top saucepan or split them in half, season
with salt, pepper and garlic butter and cook on the
barbie shell-side down until they turn bright red.
Or if French rather than Italian is your Mediterranean
language of choice; the edible flowers of the cour-
gette. Although both male and female flowers can
be eaten, pick the male flowers whenever possible:
they're larger, there's more of them and you won't be
robbing yourself of more zucchini later in the season.
While many will be familiar with crunch of battered
and deep-fried flowers (either on their own or filled
with a ricotta mixture), these long, deep golden bells
can also be stuffed and steamed, sauteed, baked or
used as a garnish for soups and salads.
Tomatoes may be this season's produce pin-up
boy, but these versatile summer delights come in
colours other than red -- and not just because they're
under-ripe. Look beyond the ubiquitous pyramids of
rosy globe, beefsteak and roma offerings and you'll
find a veritable tomato universe populated by some
7500-odd varieties. Some of the exotic names you
might bump into at grocers, farmer's markets and
restaurants include Black Krim, Green Zebra, Black
Russian and Tommy Toe. The appeal of these once
lost-to-time varieties isn't just skin-deep either with
many of the best chefs around town swearing by
them for their performance in the taste stakes. Seek
them this summer but start making plans now to sow
your own come spring.
• Looking for a midnight snack to share with
friends? Do as the Italians do and whip up pasta
aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and oil).
This classic Roman dish is the one thing most
Italian men know how to cook. It can be prepared
in just a few minutes and is a great way to ward
off the late night munchies. Bring a large pot of
salted water to the boil and add 500g spaghetti.
Meanwhile, saute two cloves of crushed garlic and
one fresh red chilli (or more, depending on how
hot you like it) in 1/3 cup EVOO until the garlic is
Turn off the heat. Drain the cooked spaghetti,
reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
Place pasta in a bowl, toss through the aglio/
olio sauce and the reserved water and serve
immediately with a little ground pepper, salt to
taste and grated parmeggiano or pecorino on the
side. (Many love the cheese but others shudder at
the thought.) Delicious.
~ Marina Fiore
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