In season

September 8

In now: A cold snap in May and a poor wet season has delivered an deliciously early start to the mango season in the Northern Territory. Mango farmers there are expecting a bumper crop.

At its best: Long white radish, or daikon, can be used in Chinese soups and braises, or in salads. Slice into thin batons or rounds. Sprinkle with salt, mix well and leave for 10 minutes or so. Rinse, then pat dry and dress. For a German-style side to a meal of sausages, spuds and beer, use a white-wine based dressing. For something more Japanese in spirit, make a dressing of rice vinegar, mirin, and sesame oil. A few snipped chives or sliced spring onions scattered on top works well for both.

Not for long: Blood oranges will only be around another week or so. Freeze juice as ice blocks for use in spring cocktails.

In the vegie patch: Get a crop of potatoes in for a summer harvest. Encourage a better harvest by hilling soil or compost around the stems, leaving just a handspan of foliage at the top. You need to buy certified virus-free seed potatoes. Search online.

What else:

  • bargains in spinach
  • 10 years ago a Bendigo apple grower found a new apple in his orchards that looked good. It’s being trialled in various countries around the world, and grown in small amounts in Australia.  I found it at Harris Farm Markets. It has a fabulous deep red colour, good crunch and low acidity.
  • are you making the most of the cheap capsicum?
  • quick-pickle some fennel to add sharp crunch to a chicken sandwich
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