The breezy weather might have left you feeling cold but the wide range of fruit and vegetables available at the Brisbane Produce Market this week will have you heading for the kitchen to cook up a storm.
In fruit, Queensland-grown luscious strawberries are offering terrific value. For a sweet, fruity treat, coat strawberries with rich melted chocolate, keep them in the fridge and enjoy once the chocolate is set. Supplies of blueberries have improved from Coffs Harbour however raspberry supplies are declining due to cold weather. Make the most of well-supplied avocados from North Queensland as the quality of the current season’s Hass variety makes for spectacular eating.
Dreaming of warmer weather? Transpose yourself to the tropics with passionfruit from Beerburrum – they are in abundance and delicious added to drinks, tarts, cheesecakes, pavlova and sponge cake. Most apple varieties such as Royal Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Red Delicious are well supplied and so are pears, rockmelon, watermelon, pineapple and banana. Do not get put off by the dull-looking Winter skin of bananas as they are good eating on the inside.
Custard apples and pomegranates are available and continue to impress with good quality fruit. Yellow pawpaw from Acacia Ridge is also a great buy at the moment, look for firm fruit with yellow rind. In plentiful supplies are mandarins from Victoria, as well as blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit, honey bell tangelos, lemon, limes and kiwifruit. Making their way to the Market are longans and lychees – both belong to the soapberry family and are very similar in terms of flavour and texture however longan has been described as more tart.
Most vegetables are well supplied this week including glossy red capsicum from Bundaberg, eggplant and squash from Bowen, green and purple cabbage from Redland Bay, rhubarb from Mount Tambourine, sweet potatoes, mushroom, radish, turnip, beetroot, leeks, kale, spinach, fennel and chillies. Cold weather is slowing down the supplies of zucchini, lettuce, snow peas and corn.
Asian vegetables such as wombok, bok choy and watercress are plentiful; stir-fry them with oyster sauce and garlic or ginger for an enhanced flavour. For Wintery side dishes, try roasting or pan-frying Brussels sprouts with ingredients like parmesan, lemon or bacon. For a twist on potato bakes, soups and mash, swap in some celeriac — it is great value and adds a distinctive parsley-celery like flavour.
Reinvigorate soups by adding fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, coriander and thyme as they are in good supply. Local crispy green beans and juicy cherry tomatoes are value buys this week along with pumpkin and brown onions.
This week’s top pick is silverbeet. This leafy green is a versatile accompaniment to many meals. Select silverbeet with fresh, dark green, crisp leaves and white stalks. Trim and remove stalks, wash leaves in water and then slice. For an easy and delicious recipe, make silverbeet and ricotta pie – mix cooked silverbeet with eggs, ricotta, fresh herbs and lemon juice, then spoon into a pastry case (or use filo pastry), bake until golden and serve warm.
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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