What a great week to get into the kitchen and cook up a storm. With showers forecast for the rest of the week, and an abundance of locally grown vegies at hand, this is a great time to roast, steam or stir-fry through some of this unseasonably wet weather. Shallots are my pick of the week and big harvests of fresh, locally grown bunches are ideal right now to make any meal come together. Dutch carrots and rhubarb, also grown a stone’s throw from Sydney, are both at their very best right now – think honey glazed sesame carrots and rhubarb apple crumble. With the Queensland eggplant season finishing up now, this is an ideal time to jump on some Imperfect eggplant, a real cost saver as well as being delicious and versatile in a huge range of wet weather dishes.
It looks like there’s no slowing down the supply of cucumbers being packed for the markets this week. Lebanese, telegraph and sweet baby cucumbers all at their very best flavour and price. Iceberg lettuce, still from as far north as the Lockyer Valley in SE Queensland down to Robinvale in VIC and everywhere in between, is absolutely flooding into Sydney right now. The right balance of rainfall and sunshine has ensured excellent supply for the rest of this week. This is a great week to grab a bunch or two of tender stem baby broccoli – the quality is great. South Australian red potatoes remain an excellent all-rounder this week to boil, bake or mash. Priced to sell and superb quality – my pick of the spuds.
What a week for avocadoes – large, small or Imperfect. However you like them, this is a great week to pick up on some inexpensive Hass avocadoes. For guacamole or smashed avo toast, Hass avocadoes cannot be beaten for their rich flavour and smooth texture. There are mountains of excellent avocadoes this week, all arriving from many growing regions. We welcome the start of the Katherine mango season right now. Just a short three hour drive south east of Darwin, these are the Kensington prides that look magnificent in the fruit bowl for longer than just a few days. Their aroma and flavour is superb. R2E2 mangoes out of Katherine, for something a little different also hitting the shelves this week. With daily temperatures over forty degrees this week in the Territory, we can look forward a good array of mangoes on offer.
Supply of raspberries and blueberries continues to be very good. Melbourne cup time also marks the start of the spring banana crops at Harris Farm Markets. This is the time of year when we see an improvement in the consistent supply of good quality bananas. Appearance, flavour and "prettiness” in the fruit bowl. The best eating tomato this week are our snacking “petite” punnets - often all finished before the salad is even made. Rockmelons are also fantastic at the moment – vibrant, sweet, cheap.