Veg Speak #4
Boy we’ve had a couple of scorcher mornings these last few weeks. The market is all a buzz with the sweet perfume of spring / summer Stone Fruit, sweet Watermelon and awesome Mangoes. I love this time of year, all the glamour’s come out to play.
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Market prices are a little up and down at the moment as we really start kicking in with summer vegetables. There is nothing outrageous just short supply driven costs. The main stays, green leaf lines, Iceberg, Cos and English spinach are in good supply and quality. Be on the lookout for Baby Cos Lettuce, packed in doubles with 100% yield. Tomatoes and Cucumbers are looking great. Roma, Salad and Heirloom all available and are super sweet. Lebanese Cucumbers are exceptionally good. Fantastic white heads of Cauliflower and brilliant Broccoli are in great supply.
Not so with Green Beans as supply is down, quality down and prices are up. On the subject of supply, the hard to find item over the last few weeks has definitely been the illusive Broccolini. I’m assured things will improve in the following weeks. Green Peas, Sugar Snap Peas and Snow Peas are really hitting their straps now. The quality and flavour is brilliant. Locally picked and bursting with great colour.
The gap between hard green fruit and ripe is narrowing and full flavoured stone fruit and mangoes perfume the market corridors and pathways. Raspberries are still fetching high prices while Strawberries are enjoying a good run in both size and colour and are definitely getting sweeter, especially out of Victoria. Mangoes, both Kensington Pride, Calypso and R2E2 are in great supply, prices are still a little firm but there will be movement in the coming weeks as the sun shines more brightly.
Stone fruit has started to make an appearance and some of the fruit all be it, a little small, is packing a world of flavour. Both White and Yellow fleshed Peaches are available. Rockmelons are sweet and firm and the Pineapples are dripping with Queensland sunshine. Victorian Cherries are on the market floor and are sensational, yes, still pricey but well worth the cost. Aussie Grapes are in and in good supply. Flame grapes, a red seedless variety and Menindee seedless green grapes are the ones to look out for both crisp and sweet. Prices are firm and will remain that way for some time.
Picks of the Month
Young beans can be cooked in their pods then tossed in a little seasoned butter. The larger bean is great as a mash or puree.
Great as an entrée, boiled whole and served with a dipping bowl of vinaigrette or Hollandaise. Try filling the artichoke bottom with a farce and baking it.
Full flavoured and large fruit is now available and should be taken advantage of as the apricot season will be short. The growers have informed us that a lot of the fruit did not set on the tree and many were lost during the recent high temperatures and strong winds.
Local Grown Asparagus
Don’t be put off by the larger thicker spears, they are crunchy and sweet both stir fried and poached.
Green Peas, Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas
Crisp and full of colour, toss them into a salad with some Kipfler potatoes and olive oil.
Firm sweet fresh, excellent on a fruit platter for that extra WOW. My favourite, king prawns, mint, coriander, lime and diced papaya salad.
Peaches, White and Yellow flesh
North coast fruit is arriving and supply will increase weekly. Fruit is still firm but will ripen beautifully.
Northern Territory Mangoes
Various sizes available. Beautiful aroma with a golden sweet flesh.
A great superfood and well-priced, this one goes into my baked ricotta and mascarpone cheesecake.
Driscolls Majestic is an awesome sight to behold, a super large full flavoured strawberry that would love a dip in your favourite Couverture.
Flame seedless are coming out of Mildura and the green seedless Menindee are sourced from Emerald. Both are a stunning way to get right into summer.
The look and flavour of Christmas. My absolute favourite grower is out of Victoria and markets under the brand name Koala. This cherry and rightfully so has been voted best cherry two years running by the SMH. It has a good deep crimson colour with large full flavoured fruit. YUMMMMM.