Perfectly ripe Piel de Sapo melon has juicy deliciously sweet pale green flesh similar to honeydew. Originally from Spain, these melons are now grown in Australia. They are also known as Santa Claus or Christmas melons. Alternatively, Candy melons from Queensland are $3-$5 each (this melon has a golden smooth rind and a super sweet orange flesh).
Cherry season is off to a fabulous star with fruit quality being top-notch. Early season varieties tend to have a softer flesh but are also packed with flavour. Expect to pay $8-$25 a kilo. This cherry relish is perfect for serving with ham.
Add some tropical flavour and sweetness to your day with fresh pineapple. At its best from mid-spring through to the end of summer, this delicious fruit is picked ripe and ready to eat. Once home, leave your whole pineapple at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and use within 4 days. Once cut, peel and store pineapple in an airtight container in the fridge. Pineapples are retailing at $3-$6 each.
Delicately sweet, papaya is one of the most nutritious fruits! It is rich in both vitamin C (200g would provides 2-3 days supply) and beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Whole papaya continues to ripen after harvesting so it is best to leave it for a few days at room temperature to fully ripen. It’s ready to eat when the fruit loses its greenish hue and yields to gentle pressure around the stem. Papaya is $3-$5 each.
Mango lovers rejoice, this season is a bumper one and the quality and value is outstanding at $2-$4 each. Select from Kensington Pride, Calypso, R2E2 and Honey Gold varieties. Trays of mangoes are $20-$30 each, depending in size and variety.
It’s time to enjoy a succulent and natural sweet Aussie grown nectarines and peaches. There are numerous varieties to select from each varying in colour, flavour and flesh texture. Early season nectarines are particularly tasty. Yellow and white-fleshed peach and nectarine prices are ranging from price $4-$6 for small fruit through to $6-$12 a kilo for large-sized fruit.
Harvesting of new season Aussie grown grapes has started. Look for green-skinned Menindee seedless variety for sweet eating and value, the pink-skinned Flame Seedless variety and the backed skinned Midnight beauty. Wash grapes and store in the fridge to ensure they are crisp and firm eating. Grapes are $10-$14 a kilo.
Truss tomatoes are a top buy at $3-$5 a kilo. These Greek-style stuffed tomatoes are delicious.
New potatoes, also known as Chat potatoes, these small, young potatoes are harvested before they reach maturity. They’re very versatile and do not require peeling. If you’re leaving these potatoes whole to cook, select similar-sized ones so they cook evenly. Store potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place because light causes them to go green. New potatoes are $1-$4 a kilo. Try this scrumptious potato, dill, bacon & egg salad.
Bursting with flavour, with a delicious nutty crunch, Australian-grown asparagus is now in season. Asparagus is best cooked rapidly to retain its colour and crunch. About 1-3 minutes (depending on thickness) is all that’s required. Asparagus will be 2.50-$3 a bunch.
Fast to cook, nutritious and versatile, Asian leafy greens are simply a busy cook’s best friend. Slice and add to stir-fries and noodle dishes or steam and serve as a side dish topped with fresh ginger and soy sauce. Asian leafy greens are $1.50-$2 a bunch.
Versatile broccoli is a healthy and thrifty choice this week at $3-$5 a kilo.
Dutch carrots sold in a variety of colours are flavoursome and a healthy choice at $3-$4 a bunch. Try this tasty Moroccan-style roasted veggies salad.
Sweetcorn is a family favourite that is fast to cook. Wash corn cobs, place in a single layer in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes (per cob) until just tender. Stand to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Sweetcorn is 99¢ a cob. Try these easy broccoli & sweetcorn buttermilk hotcakes.
Choose plump zucchinis with glossy, unblemished skin. Zucchinis are priced at $4-$5 a kilo. Adding grated zucchini to burger patties will increase the nutritional value, keeps them moist and is a great value to hide veggies from fussy eaters. These vegetable quinoa burgers are a family favourite.
Locally grown shallots (green onions) have a mild onion flavour and can be eaten raw or cooked. Sold by the bunch they are a top buy at $1.50-$3 a bunch.
Small tubers of kumara (orange sweet potato) are $2-$4 a kilo. Kumara is delicious served as a mash or thinly slice and layer with cream and sliced spring onions into a baking dish and cook until tender.