Signs of Spring are everywhere at the Brisbane Produce Market this week with the abundance of fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables.
In vegetables, there are strong supplies of locally grown celery and broccoli from Lowood, cauliflower from Gatton and zucchini from Bundaberg. Other value buys include green beans, garden peas, fennel, leeks, golden squash, cherry tomatoes, and both Butternut and Kent pumpkins.
This week we are noticing increased levels of purple cabbage from Peak Crossing, eggplants from Bundaberg, purple kohlrabi, beetroot, onions, carrots, reddish/purple skinned Northern Star sweet potatoes and purple broccoli. These veggies add a rainbow of colour to your diet.
Spring is the peak season for Australian asparagus. Coming from Victoria in particular, priced at premium asparagus is dense with nutrition and pairs well with other spring vegetables like garlic, potatoes and peas. Capsicums are not coming in large volumes whereas supplies of ginger from North Arm in Queensland is increasing so expect lower prices in the coming weeks. Add more greens to your plate with bok choy, baby cos lettuce, spinach, rocket, spring onions, endive, mint, parsley, coriander and peppery watercress as they are all well supplied. Brussels sprouts are about to finish their season, cucumber supplies are short, and corn and snow peas supplies are moderate.
Have you noticed a brightly coloured rainbow stemmed vegetable with green leaves on top at your local fruit shop? It might be a rainbow chard also known as Swiss chard. The large leaves are bright green in colour and slightly bitter in taste whereas the stalks are made up of a myriad of colours including yellow, pink, orange, red and pastel variations and tastes sweet like beets. Use raw in salad or sauté them for fillings or pasta dishes.
In fruit, juicy local strawberries remain a crowd favourite and offer fantastic value, whereas blueberry supplies are now stable. Tired of drinking plain boring water? Try berry-infused water that is both delicious and refreshing. Slice strawberries and blueberries and toss them in your water bottle with a couple of mint leaves.
Rockmelons, golden papaya/paw paw and pineapples are all abundant and excellent quality. Apple, pears, watermelon and passionfruit are in moderate supplies whereas the family favourite creamy bananas are plentiful.
In citrus, limes and lemons are great buys this week and adds a zesty flavour to sweet and savoury dishes. Mandarin season is nearing the end however Honey Murcott variety is still widely available. Beautiful blood oranges are coming from South Australia and kiwi fruit is eating well. Sweet eating Kensington Pride mangoes from Darwin are in good supply and so is avocadoes from Northern Queensland.
This week’s hero is artichokes that has an armour-like exterior and a savoury-sweet heart. Artichoke is an intriguing vegetable as it is actually the bud of a thistle – a flower. Choose artichokes that are plump and feel heavy for their size. Select deep green coloured artichokes with tightly closed petals and a firm stem. To test its freshness, hold them next to your ear and squeeze its leaves with your fingers. If you hear a squeak, the artichoke is very fresh. Savour the delicious nutty flavour of artichokes by serving the whole steamed flower with smoky, herb-flecked mayonnaise.
About Brisbane Markets Limited:
Brisbane Markets Limited (BML) is the owner of the Brisbane Markets® site and is responsible for its ongoing management and development. BML provides infrastructure and services to facilitate the marketing of fresh food, flowers and other ancillary products for fruit, vegetable and flower wholesalers, retailers, provedores, secondary wholesalers, food processors, transporters, exporters, industry organisations and market support businesses.
More information can be found on our website: www.brisbanemarkets.com.au.
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