Has the weather left you dreaming of a cold crisp salad or a warm fruity dessert? Wondering which seasonal fruit or veg is on offer so you can try new recipes? Read on to learn about the wide variety of fresh produce arriving at your local fruit and veg shop this week.
Stone fruits are a must-buy this week. Delicious nectarines and peaches, arriving mostly from Victoria are in excellent supply. They can be preserved in syrup and are perfect for fruit compotes, upside-down cakes and crumbles. Don’t miss out on sweet Candy plums that are eating beautifully too, select fruit with a flavoursome aroma, free of bruises and wrinkled spots. Apricots and Tasmanian cherries are in short season and will last only until January so grab them while you can.
With plentiful supplies of mangoes, why not try your hand at making some frozen mango bars? Blend diced mangoes, sugar syrup, thickened cream and lemon juice until smooth. Pour mixture into a pan lined with baking paper, sprinkle over shredded coconut (optional) and freeze until firm. Once done, use a knife to cut into rectangular bars, enjoy!
Queensland rockmelons and watermelons are also available in good supply along with fresh red pawpaw from Far North Queensland. Other great buys this week include tangy passionfruit, strawberries, blueberries, red seedless grapes, limes, Pink Lady apples, exotic dragon fruit and Valencia oranges from Tharbogang, New South Wales. Avocados are priced at a premium and pineapples are in moderate supply.
When it comes to veggies, supplies of broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, celery and silverbeet have been affected due to the high humidity and heat. Also priced at a premium are local capsicums and lettuce. On the flip side, beans, pumpkins, cucumbers and eggplants are in plentiful supply, while root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beetroot represent good buying.
Are you looking for a low-carb alternative to pasta? The spaghetti squash makes a great addition to bolognese sauce, gratin or lasagne. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it facing down in a baking dish with a little water for 30- 45 minutes. Use a fork to separate the flesh into noodles and serve with your choice of sauce.
It’s a perfect time to cook up pasta sauces as we are noticing bumper supplies of tomatoes including Truss, Roma, Cherry, Mini and Heirloom varieties. The standout herbs this week are coriander and parsley. Look for fresh-looking green leaves and stems, avoiding wilted or discoloured leaves.
This week’s top pick is the exotic fig, with plentiful supplies from South Kolan, Queensland. Figs range from bright green to a deep purple exterior, with the inner flesh being bright red. Choose soft figs that give a little when pressed. Rich in vitamins and a good source of fibre, figs are great as a snack or can be added to jams, savoury sides or desserts.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark