Long sunny days are here, and the warmer weather means it’s time to start heading outside for barbeques, picnics, and pool parties. It’s important to keep cool and hydrated and the fresh fruit and vegetables arriving at your local fruit and veg shop this week have got you covered.
In berries, raspberries are picking up in supply and antioxidant-rich blueberries are plentiful and represent good value. The Queensland season for strawberries has slowed down, but the supply from Western Australia has begun. Pro tip: if you’re tired of drinking plain water, then infuse it with berries for a fresh taste.
You know summer is on the horizon when you’re hit with the aroma of juicy mangoes in your local fruit and veg shop. A bumper supply of Kensington Pride mangoes are arriving from the Northern Territory and the quality is exceptional. More mango varieties such as R2E2 and Calypso will come in season in the next couple of weeks.
In melons, top quality seedless watermelons and succulent rockmelons are in good supply. For a refreshing salad put some watermelon chunks in a bowl with rocket, coat with lemon juice and olive oil, and sprinkle with crumbled feta, torn mint leaves and lemon zest. Add your choice of seasoning and enjoy!
Planning a pool party? Get some piña coladas on the menu! Golden-fleshed pineapples are in abundance from the Sunshine Coast and in fantastic quality right now, so pick them up and see what you can come up with. When selecting pineapples, smell the bottom of the fruit for its distinct sweetness. All citrus fruits including lemon and limes are easing in price and remain great eating. Apples, avocados, pears, papayas, and Cavendish bananas from North Queensland are also in good supply. Passionfruit is very short and priced at a premium.
Veggies are a mixed story this week. Aussie asparagus from Victoria, eggplants, sweet potatoes, celery, and Lebanese cucumbers are all plentiful, whereas carrots, capsicum and cabbage are in short supply due to the high heat in growing regions. After being short for some time now, tomatoes from Bowen are improving in supply and the new season from Stanthorpe is likely to commence in a few weeks – you can expect eased prices and better quality. Cherry, mini, and roma tomatoes are still around and moderately supplied.
With good volumes and sizes, ginger from the Sunshine Coast and garlic from Toowoomba are star performers in the flavour department this week. While ginger adds a warm, spicy flavour to drinks and desserts, garlic enhances the taste of curries, roasts, pasta dishes, sauces, and butter.
Green beans are ideal for warmer days and are currently in heavy supply from Kalbar. Not only are they light, but they are also easy to cook, and can complement any main meal. For a quick delicious side dish, sauté green beans in a pan with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Serve hot with roast chicken or lamb chops. Broccoli and cauliflower from Gatton are tightening, however supplies from Victoria are filling up the gap. Spring is the perfect time to make salads with great buys on leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, spinach, and silverbeet, all well-supplied.
This week’s top pick is excellent quality zucchini in plentiful supply from North Queensland. Mild in flavour, zucchinis are versatile and can be chargrilled, added to pizza, used as a substitute for noodles and spaghetti, or grated for fritters or savoury muffins. Look for firm zucchinis with smooth, glossy skin that feel heavy for their size. Store in the crisper section of the fridge and use within two to three days.
Report supplied by Brismark