Just when we thought winter was over, a big chill hit us at the end of August leaving us craving soups, stews, crusty pies, and warm desserts – and we have a steady supply of everything you need to meet your appetite while staying snug at home this week.
Beautiful berries are in their prime right now, with luscious Sunshine Coast strawberries continuing their fantastic run and Coffs Harbour blueberries eating well. For an easy French dessert, try a classic galette – first, combine your choice of berries with sugar for the filling and set it aside. For the crust, mix flour, butter, salt, sugar, and water and then knead the dough. Roll the dough into a circle and place the berry filling in the centre. Roughly fold up the edges and bake it until it’s golden brown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some pistachios. Enjoy!
In citrus, blood oranges and sweet-eating Honey Murcott mandarins show no sign of slowing down. As well as packing a punch of vitamin C, they’re full of flavour and add a refreshing taste to rice paper rolls, salads, drinks, and desserts. Local lemon and limes are also in good supply. Keep an eye out for tangelos, which are in season until October. Tangelos are a cross between mandarin and grapefruit, consisting of a sweet flavour and smooth exterior. You’ll be able to spot this fruit by its external features, such as redder skin and a bell-like shape.
A good supply of Hass avocados is continuing from Queensland along with crispy Royal Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji and Granny Smith apple varieties. Small to medium-sized Packham and Corella pears from the Goulburn Valley in Victoria is also eating beautifully – add thin slices to cheese boards, yoghurt, muesli, salads or drinks .
Don’t forget to check out the early supplies of Kensington Pride mangoes from North Queensland – prices may vary depending upon size. Bananas are in steady supply, but watermelon and paw paw supplies have dropped off. Rockmelons and topless pineapples are currently in light supply, but fresh stock is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
In vegetables, Bundaberg and Lockyer Valley continue to fill the shelves with plentiful supplies of pumpkins, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas. In capsicums, green ones are in better supply than red; however, both are of good quality. Green beans from Gatton and mild zucchinis from Bundaberg are also thrifty buys this week. For a Thai inspired dinner, try a rich and creamy Veggie Thai Curry with rice. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan, and add sliced onion, grated garlic and ginger, trimmed beans, chopped capsicums, zucchinis and red chillies. Cook until softened, then add a Thai curry paste and coconut milk, and stir slowly till the sauce thickens. Place some rice in a bowl and top it with the curry. Garnish with roasted cashews and serve hot.
Spring is on the horizon and with it comes fresh and snappy asparagus, golden sweetcorn from North Queensland, iceberg lettuce from Gatton, freshly harvested Queensland eggplants and crunchy kale – all in good supply. Local herbs such as mint, parsley and coriander are also well-supplied, while cherry and Roma tomatoes remain steady; however, truss tomatoes are becoming harder to find. There is a steady supply of both button and flat mushrooms, while cool cucumbers are gradually improving.
This week’s top pick is carrots. Sometimes called the perfect health food, carrots are low in calories and rich in nutrients such as beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, and potassium. Crunchy and sweet, these ultra-versatile root vegetables can be eaten raw, juiced, or cooked in soups, casseroles, roasts – anything! Look for medium-sized, firm carrots with a bright orange colour and smooth skin. Keep your carrots crisp and fresh by storing them in the fridge.
Report supplied by Brismark