Produce report: May 13
The best fruit and vegetable buys of the week, in partnership with New World
NEW IN: Silverbeet and kale are looking good as the weather cools. The leafy greens join cavolo nero and other highly nutritious brassicas — cauliflowers, broccoli and brussels sprouts — “all in plentiful supply at New World, as are lettuces, which are experiencing a longer season due to the mild autumn our local growers have been enjoying,” says Fresh Expert Brigit Corson.
Very affordable, crown pumpkins are super-sweet and orange this year. The stronger the colour, the more carotenoids which are converted in the body to vitamin A. It’s the same with persimmons which are lowering in price as the season progresses. Pumpkins and persimmons also offer good amounts of vitamin C.
“Our locally grown shallots from Marlborough are in good supply at the moment — garlic too,” says Brigit, “and best of all, many stores still have summer berries — blueberries and raspberries as well as a new crop of strawberries grown in Levin."
LOOK OUT FOR: Cherry guavas at farmers’ markets and in your neighbours’ back yards. Get out the jam pan and turn these small red subtropical fruits into a classic jelly or a fragrant sauce for icecream. They are high in vitamins C and K.
At markets, look for jerusalem artichokes to add to the roasting pan, bring a mushroomy addition to soups and slice thinly into a salad dressed with lemony vinaigrette. Toasted hazelnuts are a complementary garnish.
At farm gates in May and June, you may find bags of chestnuts for sale. Boil for stuffings or roast to snack on during the weekend when you have time for the prep involved.
MOVING ON: The local chilli harvest is about to draw to a close. Chillies freeze well, so take advantage before they’re gone. Capsicums and eggplants are nearing the end of their run. “You’ll soon start to see capsicums from Australia and the Netherlands when the New Zealand season ends," says Brigit. Local snowpeas and sugarsnaps are gone and you’ll start to see imported product too.