The Lockyer Valley region has entered its peak production period just in time for spring, bringing a bounty of supply in fresh veggies such as carrots, potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and many more through the Brisbane Produce Market this week.
Stock up on sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes to bulk up your salads as they both represent value buys right now. Iceberg lettuce, wombok, bok choy, kale, and spinach are all plentiful and make great salad bases. Keep an eye on those leaves and make sure they aren’t wilted or discoloured for crispy freshness.
A springtime favourite is Aussie-grown asparagus which is streaming in from Victoria in truckloads. The crisp and sweet stalks can be cooked in a variety of ways including steamed, sauteed or grilled. Pair sauteed asparagus with thinly sliced radish and a lemon juice, olive oil and mustard dressing; finish by sprinkling some sesame seeds over the top and you’ve got a fresh, crunchy radish and asparagus salad which won’t take long to devour. Nutritious zucchini and sweet corn from Bowen are in good supply too; team them together to make fritters, pies, quiches or simply sauté them in garlic butter for a flavourful side dish.
Local capsicums, chillies, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, celery, and washed potatoes are all in good supply. In herbs, mint, coriander, basil, and parsley are in good supply and of great quality. While mint tastes refreshing in cocktails, coriander, parsley, and basil are wonderful flavours for cooking.
Other well-supplied veggies to look out for include radish, beetroot, artichokes, silverbeet, garden peas and broad beans from Kalbar.
In fruits, there is a tsunami of luscious local berries in the Market – strawberries from Sunshine Coast and blueberries from New South Wales are eating exceptionally well. Add them to your morning cereal or whip up tasty desserts such as cakes, tarts, muffins, or scones. Spring pineapples are plentiful this week along with crispy apples and pears. For a quick snack, throw some fruit chunks into Greek yoghurt with roasted almonds – delicious, and nutritious!
If you prefer to drink your food, your best bets for a smoothie this week are avocados and bananas. Both avocado and banana are a nutritional powerhouse with good fats that keep you feeling full for longer. Sweet and succulent red papaya from Innisfail is in fair supply and represents good value too – try it with banana, yoghurt, milk, and some vanilla extract in a smoothie.
The Queensland season for oranges and lemons is nearing its end but produce from the southern states is keeping us in stock. You can still get your hands on late-season Afourer mandarins, so grab them while you can.
Priced at a premium, juicy Kensington Pride mangoes from Darwin are bursting with tropical flavour; expect better value prices in the coming weeks as the weather warms up. Have you spotted the peaches on the shelves? They’re a yellow-fleshed variety coming from Central Queensland.
For this week’s top pick, we have sweet and juicy rockmelons, currently in excellent supply from Gumlu. Select unblemished, fragrant fruit that feels heavy for its size and store it at room temperature until cut. When buying pre-cut rockmelon, make sure it has been refrigerated. Once cut, wrap it up and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy rockmelon as a snack or add them to cocktails, salads, smoothies, or sorbets.
Report supplied by Brismark