Wednesday October 28th 2020

Start a litchi love affair!

Summer is a time for fresh ideas and fresh fruit like delicious, home-grown litchis.

Bursting with flavour and succulently sweet, juicy litchis epitomise the African summer.

South African litchis are available from October to March, with production peaking in the height of summer over November and January. Litchis are a source of vitamin C and they’re naturally free from saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Litchis are also a key ingredient in a range of sweet and savoury dishes, due to their great taste and versatile nature. This is no surprise given that litchis have been around for centuries and played an interesting role in ancient folklore, Asian medicine and recent history.

It seems the litchi’s vivid, slightly heart-shaped appearance is probably the reason why the Chinese have always considered it a symbol of love and romance. In China, litchi seeds are also believed to have a pain relieving effect, and are often prescribed for nerve pain or orchitis (an inflammation of the testicles, usually caused by infection). A tea made with litchi skin is used for diarrhoea, while in India, throat ailments are sometimes treated by gargling with a solution made by boiling the roots, bark and flowers of the litchi tree.

RECIPES!

LITCHI, PAWPAW, AVOCADO & ROCKET SALAD, WITH CHAR GRILLED LIMES, AND A SWEET CHILLI DRESSING

Ingredients:

• 1 large pawpaw, sliced

• 12 litchis, peeled & pitted

• 2 avocados, peeled and sliced

• 50 g rocket

• 2 limes, quartered

• 1 chilli to garnish

Dressing ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 50 ml lime juice

• 100 ml sweet chilli sauce

• 30 g mint leaves chopped

Preparation:

1. Arrange the salad on a platter.

2. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well.

3. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately

Serves 2

TERIYAKI PORK FILLET WITH GLAZED LITCHIS

Marinade ingredients:

• 600 g boneless pork fillet

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

• ½ cup soya sauce

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

• Salt and Pepper

Glazed litchi ingredients:

• 2 cups whole or chopped litchis (fresh or canned)

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:

1. Marinate pork fillet for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 4 hours

2. Heat small amount of oil in large frying pan over medium heat.

3. Add pork fillet and cook 10 minutes or until no longer pink in the centre, turning

after 4 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Remove pork; keep warm.

6. Add litchis, sugar and cinnamon to pan.

7. Reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.

8. Add remaining marinade to the pan, heat through for 2 minutes and serve over

pork fillet.

Serves 4