What's in season this July
Boonah is one of the stand-out growing regions this week, supplying an abundance of vegetables including beetroot, cabbage, kale, and silverbeet to the Brisbane Produce Market.
In fruit, citrus continue to enjoy a great season, with strong supplies of Mareeba-gown limes, tangelos, Victorian-grown Imperial mandarins, and Queensland-grown ruby grapefruit. Other market favourites this week include honeydew and rockmelons from Gumlu, red papaya from Dimbulah, all varieties of pears, and local pineapple.Local strawberries are a consistent performer in the cooler weather. Raspberry prices are going up, while blueberry prices are coming down — look for the new larger varieties. Granny Smith apples are also becoming dearer.
Spotted a mango on the shelves? It’s not a mirage — Northern Territory-grown green mangoes have hit the market and make a great addition to Thai or Vietnamese-style salads. Get in quick to pick up the end-of-season pomegranates and quince.Most vegetables are great buying at the moment, with plentiful supplies of local Queensland-grown carrots, chillies, sugar snap and snow peas, eggplant, broccoli, bok choy, beans, brussels sprouts, radish lettuce, rocket, onions, and sweet potatoes.
Victoria is also having a bumper season of classic winter vegies like artichokes, fennel, leeks, and parsnips. Add them to soups and roasts along with Tasmanian-grown eschallots. Colder conditions are having an impact on cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs such as basil, mint, and sage. However, micro-herbs and locally grown coriander and continental parsley are excellent buying at the moment.
This week’s top pick is witlof, a bitter relative of endive, radicchio, and artichoke. Look for Victorian-grown red and white varieties with crisp, tightly packed leaves with fresh tips. Witlof doesn’t like the light, so store in a paper bag in the crisper for up to two days. Eat witlof raw in salads, braised with lemon and white wine, or baked as a gratin. For a gratin, pre-boil the witlof until tender and place in a baking dish with cooked bacon, thyme and breadcrumbs and bake until golden. Top with freshly grated parmesan or Gruyère cheese and bake for another five minutes.