In season

October 20

In now: Oxheart tomatoes are soft-skinned so are picked immature and need to be ripened on the kitchen bench or windowsill, out of direct sun.

Not at its best: Radicchio is not a fan of warm weather, and neither it, nor its partner trevisso, are at their best right now. When a salad needs a bitter crunch, look for radish instead.

Best buy: What a cool relief to have cucumbers at affordable prices again. I love them:

– smashed with the back of a knife till they shatter, cut into chunks and doused with soy sauce, black vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.

– or cut into chunks, tossed with chunks of radish, halved cherry tomatoes, lots of parsley, and a sherry vinegar dressing.

– or peeled, deseeded and cut into thin slivers atop butter lettuce. Scatter over nigella seeds and roasted pine nuts,  and drizzle with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

In the vegie patch: As the weather heats sow lettuce where they will get a little protection from hot afternoon sun, such as in the shade of taller-growing vegetables.

What else:

  • last chance for the blood oranges
  • zucchini flowers are abundant
  • field-grown eggplant tends to be marked so is cheaper than the glasshouse-grown produce. Tastes the same.
  • broad beans are a bargain



4 thoughts on “October 20

  1. Hi Robin. Re your piece in today’s GoodFood on radicchio: I grow a type of radicchio (cutting chicory) that does better in summer than the colder months here in Sydney and loves full sun. It’s called ‘zuccherina di Trieste’ and re-grows after cutting. I’ve been eating it for 40 years as its origins are from my hometown (Trieste) in north-eastern Italy. It’s not available at greengrocers anymore. You might be interested in my blog post about it:

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