There’s something satisfying about buying a bunch of carrots with their leafy green tops still attached. You can tell they’re fresh out of the ground, full of flavour and at their nutritional peak. The farmers markets are one of the few places you’ll find them sold this way – bigger retailers will cut the tops off to make them last longer (which you should also do once you get them home). Now in season, carrots are the perfect winter vegetable – add them to soups, casseroles, or throw a few in with your Sunday roast. Grate them into bolognaise, rissoles or pasta sauce for some hidden vege goodness for the kids. Local growers harvesting carrots now include Stan and Rick Morrow, Rod and Tania at Summit Organics and Mike and Tom from Bangalow Farm.
It may not be the trendiest fruit, but rhubarb deserves a place on your table for so many reasons. It adds a gorgeous pink colouring to cakes and desserts and is packed with fibre, vitamin C, K and calcium. Try it stewed with a little sugar, vanilla, orange juice and zest and add to your morning muesli or porridge, or go for the classic rhubarb crumble. Winter comfort food at its best. Available from Summit Organics.
No doubt about it, cold weather calls for spuds. Bangalow farmer Mike Burless of Bangalow Farm grows three main varieties: the King Edward, ideal for roasting or chips; the Nicola, a waxy potato suited to boiling, and the Dutch Cream, a tasty all rounder especially good in mash. Other local potato growers include Jumping Red Ant , Morrow Farm and Glenyce Creighton.
With their beautiful fragrance and their easy-to-peel and eat portable packaging, mandarins have to be up there as one of our all time winter citrus favourites. The perfect fit for kids’ lunchboxes, mandarins are also delicious juiced, added to salads or in cakes and jams. High in Vitamin C and packed with antioxidants, they’re in season just at the right time to help fight off those winter sniffles. New season spray-free Imperial mandarins are now available from Jungle Juice, also try Rancho Cordial and The Organic Avocado for organic mandarins.
This winter vegie has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance lately, and we reckon deservedly so. It’s one of the most versatile vegies around – delicious raw, steamed, stir fried, in soup, curries, roasted with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper or in deep fried pakoras. For those on a low carb diet, mashed cauli is a great alternative to potatoes – just boil the cauliflower for 10-15 min until tender, add a good whack of butter, mash until smooth, then stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Yum.
Packed with green leafy goodness, silverbeet is a wonderfully healthy addition to your winter menu. You can basically use it anywhere you would normally use spinach – try it in spanokopita (cheese and spinach pie), add it to minestrone soup, use it on pizzas, sauté with butter and garlic as a side, or add it to a green smoothie. In season now, silverbeet is available from Jumping Red Ant, Summit Organics, and Everest Farm.
Also in season: Avocados, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, custard apples, cumquats, lemons, Davidson plums, apples, limes, chokoes, radishes, kale, lettuce, macadamias, bananas, coriander, pecans, potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin.