Berries, stone fruit, melons, mangoes, and pineapples are all bringing colour, value and flavour to the week.
Luscious strawberries are arriving from Victoria and New South Wales in great quantities so grab those punnets available at your local fruit and veg shop while prices are down. Local blueberries and raspberries are also at their peak season, they are delicious fresh, but are also fantastic when cooked. Use them to make cakes, pancakes, tarts, muffins and galettes.
Even though it is early days for peaches, the quality of locally grown fruit is good and prices will come down as the season progresses. Supplies of Kensington Pride mangoes, a yellow/orange-tinged variety from the Northern Territory, are increasing. Look for fruit with a sweet aroma that yields slightly to the touch and store at room temperature until ripe.
Sweet and succulent red papaya from North Queensland is brimming with nutrients – layer chunks with yoghurt and granola for a breakfast parfait. Your best option for an ideal quick snack this week is creamy Queensland bananas, as both Cavendish and Lady Finger varieties are plentiful at the moment.
It’s a fantastic week for Queensland vegetables. We have seen great supplies of corn, beans, and capsicum from Bowen, eggplants and zucchini from Bundaberg as well as locally grown celery, sweet potato, broad beans, iceberg and cos lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, rocket, yellow squash, ginger and wombok.
Versatile carrots from Western Australia and asparagus from Victoria are plentiful right now; steam, boil or chargrill them and serve hot or cold as a side dish. Snow pea supplies are steady, while button, brown and field mushroom supplies are increasing. Add crunch to salads with well-supplied Lebanese cucumbers, vibrant beetroots and peppery flavoured radishes.
Put some zing in your meals by adding fresh herbs such as coriander, mint, parsley, rosemary and chives, which are well supplied. Use fresh mint in cocktails and juices, garnish curries with coriander, add parsley to salads and sauces, infuse rosemary to roasts and sprinkle chives over egg dishes, sandwiches and soups.
Quality leeks and fennel bulbs are coming out of New South Wales. To savour the delectable taste, braise them in a thick sauce or roast and serve alongside veggies and grains. Other value buys include broccoli, cauliflower, spring onion, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes.
This week’s top pick is rockmelon that is in excellent supply from North Queensland. Select unblemished netted beige-coloured skin fruit with a sweet smell and store at room temperature until cut. When buying pre-cut rockmelon, make sure it has been refrigerated. Once cut, wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week. For a quick after-school snack, process rockmelon, strawberries, honey and ice cubes until smooth and serve cold.
– Produce report supplied by Brismark