Eat light to stay cool as mercury soars
WITH temperatures soaring around Queensland, here at the Brisbane Produce Market we're looking for ways to eat light and keep cool. Thankfully, high summer brings a plentiful supply of produce for crisp salads and fruity snacks.
For a quintessential summer experience, we reckon nothing beats biting into a juicy stone fruit. This week, we've got an abundance of red- and black-skinned plums as well as large nectarines and peaches from Victoria.
For value and quality, we can't go past rockmelons and watermelons, which are hitting their peak at the moment. Perfect on their own, melons also work well in salads with sharp cheeses like fetta for a sweet/salty combo. Bananas, blueberries and most apple varieties continue to offer great value, but other berries such as strawberries and raspberries are in low supply. Now is also a good time to stock up on limes, ideal for summer drinks (gin and tonic, anyone?) and Asian salads. This week we're also eyeing off delicious-looking figs from Bundaberg - look for smooth-skinned fruit that yield slightly to the touch. For a simple yet impressive starter, wrap figs in prosciutto and fill them with blue cheese.
Making the news this week is the limited supply of Australian avocados, which has even prompted some café owners to take them off the menu. If you or your resident millennial can't do without smashed avo on toast, expect to pay up to $5 per avocado. But don't despair, as prices should improve once the new season New Zealand-grown avocados arrive in the next few weeks.
Queenslanders aren't the only ones feeling the heat this week - many of our vegies are suffering, too. We're seeing a limited supply of beans, broccoli, cauliflower, salad leaves, zucchini and capsicum. Also affected are onions, potatoes and pumpkins, but sweet potatoes are going strong.
With cabbage, celery, carrots, snow peas and wombok in good supply, this is a great week for making coleslaw or experimenting with stir-fries. Well-priced cucumbers and iceberg lettuces are other market favourites, so team them up in kid-friendly salads or get creative with dips like Greek tzaziki or Indian raita. Tomatoes are still offering good value, despite the hailstorm that affected many of our Bundaberg suppliers.
Our top pick of the week? We'd have to go with locally grown corn - it's reasonably priced and irresistible in fritters or any Mexican-inspired meal.
You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest Your Local Fruit Shop. Go to www.your localfruitshop.com.au to locate your closest store. Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook. com/yourlocalfruitshop