Autumn Flavour

Whether you plan an Easter egg hunt with the kids, or pile into the car for a day (or week) trip, we are thinking out of the box this April with indulgent delights to tantalise and tempt you as the nights get longer and the balmy North Coast days turn a little cooler.

Asparagus aperitif
Nestled in olive oil and lemon juice, with just the right amount of caramelisation, this asparagus recipe will set just the right mood for aperitifs under the stars.

Method
Roll asparagus lightly in olive oil to coat • Squeeze half a lemon over the asparagus, and then slice the lemon, arranging the slices over the asparagus • Add a few dots of butter and place under the grill until the asparagus is tender and the lemon slices slightly charred. Eat with chunks of crusty bread and a cherry tomato and basil salad.

Cherry ice lollies
Who said ice-cream is only for summer? These refreshing – and ever-so-pretty! – ice lollies will make you swoon with delight.

Method
Soak 130g raw cashews in boiling water for 2 hours • Drain and blend the cashews with 2 tsp almond extract • 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp honey and 120ml cream, until smooth • Refrigerate half the mixture • Add 115g fresh cherries to the remaining mixture and blend • Half fill ice-cream moulds with the cherry mix and freeze for 45 minutes • Remove from the freezer and top up with the remaining mixture • Add sticks and freeze overnight.

Fig and thyme-infused bubbles
Crisp, clean and tart, this delicious drink will top off the cooler North Coast evenings with a fruity kick and sparkling fizz of bubbles.

Method
• Make a simple thyme syrup by boiling ½ cup each of sugar and water and a good handful of thyme leaves (leave a few for garnish)
• Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15 to 20 minutes
• In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 fresh figs, quartered, with 180ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Add a generous helping of ice, 180ml thyme syrup, a few dashes of orange bitters and   90ml white rum
• Shake until chilled, and then strain into a glass, topping up with rosé sparkling wine
• Garnish with a slice of fig and a sprig of fresh thyme.

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