IT’S the season for brassicas – vegetables that include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and the Asian greens pak choy and bok choy. They grow best in cooler weather, which means they’re generally only available during the winter and spring at the local farmers markets. Highly nutritious, brassicas contain high levels of vitamin C, A, E, K, as well as folate, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, are and high in fibre. Here are some of the brassicas tasting great at the markets now.
CAULIFLOWERS: Fantastic in a curry, roasted, fried, in a soup, made into cauliflower rice, a pizza base, mashed with garlic, butter and parmesan cheese, or drenched in old fashioned cheese sauce, cauliflower should be a staple in your fridge in winter. Find them at the Everest Farm, Jumping Red And and at Summit Organics in coming weeks.
CABBAGE: Full of goodness, you can cabbage raw in slaw or salads, add to soups, stir fries, or have a go at creating home made sauerkraut. There are few types – the most common at the local farmers markets are the green and red – which you can find at the Everest Farm stall.
BROCCOLI: Highly nutritious and delicious. use fresh broccoli in stir fries, as a side, roasted or in soups. Find it at Everest Farm and Jumping Red Ant.,
PECANS: Nimbin Valley Rice and Pecans have the first nuts from this year’s pecan crop now available at their stall. Picked and processed on farm, they’re fresher than pretty much any other pecan you can buy. There’s also a pecan spread (great as an alternative to butter/peanut butter) and a pecan muesli available.
Take your winter soups stews, pies and pasta to the next level with some of the big and beautiful locally-grown leeks available at the markets now. Find them at Everest Farm and Jumping Red Ant.
The new season is just beginning for blueberries, and punnets of fresh fruit are now available at the Blueberry Fields stall. It will be a while before the popular buckets of fresh seconds arrive, but buckets of frozen berries are still available.
The local avocado season is on! Find them at the Jumping Red Ant stall at at The Organic Avocado.
Ideal for winter soups, in cheese and spinach pie or as a healthy side, this nutritious leafy green is coming into season and will be at its best over the next few months. Tyalgum organic farmers Rod and Tania Bruin are picking the first of the season’s silverbeet, find it at their stall, Summit Organics and also at Everest Farm.
Fennel’s delicate, aniseed flavour is a beautiful complement to fish, pork and chicken. You can use slivers of fennel raw and crunchy in coleslaw and salads, or cut bulbs in half and roast with some olive oil until sweet and tender to serve as a side dish or in pasta. Preparing fennel is a bit like you’d prepare an onion form the garden – trim first – cut the stalks from the top of the bulb, then remove any tough outer layers. Don’t waste the trimmed parts – the fronds can be used as a garnish for soups, stews, and pasta and the stalks in stocks. Find fennel at Jumping Red Ant, Everest Farm and Summit Organics.
Pumpkin is in its prime in Autumn and Winter and there is plenty at the farmers markets. Great in soups, roasted in salads, stir fries, curries, lasagne or try it in or baked goods like pumpkin bread. Don’t throw away the seeds either – give them a quick rinse and rub off as much stringy pumpkin bits as possible, dry on a tea towel, then toss in a little olive oil and salt and roast at 150 for about 20 minutes for a yummy, healthy snack.
Also in season: Apples, bananas, beetroot, capsisum, carrots, chokoes, cucumber, dill, , garlic, ginger, green beans, lemon, lime,mandarin, macadamias, oranges, radish, papaya, pears, potato, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini