In now: Blood limes look like purple grapes and are a cross between a finger lime and an acidic mandarin. They were developed when the CSIRO investigated new salt-resistant crops. Not as tart or fragrant as a Tahitian lime, they look great and pop in the mouth like a finger lime.
At its best: Jerusalem artichokes are crunchy when raw; sweet, nutty and soft when roasted.
Best buy: Celeriac is as cheap as it gets. This bumpy root vegetable browns as soon as you cut it, so if you are using it raw, dress it immediately, or dunk in acidulated water. I love celeriac roasted, but mostly eat it grated as a salad, especially a remoulade. Remoulade is good on it own; better with a slice of hot corned beef; or as a bed for pan-fried scallops; or with hot smoked fish or eel. To make it first mix a dressing of good quality mayo, lemon juice, seedy Dijon mustard, a little natural thick yoghurt, salt and pepper. Coarsely grate the celeriac, mix with the dressing, add finely chopped parsley and eat. The salad keeps well and is almost as good the next day on toast.
In the vegie patch: plant deciduous fruit trees while they are dormant. Figs and pomegranate do well in Sydney’s climate.
- try beetroot as a hot side dish – boil, peel, chop, then sauté in butter with softened onions
- apples are getting a bit iffy. Choose those with the freshest looking stems – straight out of the cool room if you can find them
- try all the mandarins, especially the afourers and sumos
- countdown to Australian asparagus season