In now: Celeriac develops its best flavours in autumn and into winter. Mid-sized bulbs are the best choice. Last night I diced some into an Ottolenghi-inspired soup with left-over lamb shoulder, onion, garlic, borlotti beans, ras-el hanout and lots of black pepper. Hit the spot.
At its best: Red-fleshed papaya and yellow-fleshed papaw are available year-round with supply peaks in autumn and spring. Buy well-coloured cut fruit and store in the fridge, or buy whole fruit, and ripen at room temperature until just soft at the stem end.
Best buy: Wild mushrooms such as slippery jacks and pine mushrooms (also called saffron milk caps) are autumn treats that are entirely weather dependent. Cool, moist conditions are favoured.
In the vegie patch: Silver beet and rainbow chard are easily grown from seedlings planted now into a sunny spot. Dig in some compost and manure to get them going fast. Harvest the outer leaves as needed. The plants can be kept going for a few seasons and demand almost nothing from the gardener.
- Reckon on a quarter cup of sugar to a quince when cooking these golden beauties into dessert.
- Citrus season is building – lemons are good and so are the red grapefruit. Oranges and flavourful mandarins are still a few weeks off.
- Sweetcorn is terrific, and cheap.
- Jerusalem artichokes oxidise quickly so if you are using them raw drop them into acidulated water as soon as you peel them. Don’t worry if they are going into the roasting pan with the chook.