In now: Beetroot is available year-round but seems just the right partner for the horseradish that is so plentiful right now. Add a well-charred rare steak.
At its best: Fennel is a fresh flavour sliced thinly in salads, and something of a mystery ingredient when cooked down to a sludgy softness. Try frying up leek, garlic, finely chopped chorizo and fresh fennel. Add a can of tomatoes, and when the flavours have come together add a packet of lightly rinsed mussels. Serve with couscous and the fresh ferny tops of the fennel.
Best buy: With bean prices through the roof due to cold weather in Queensland, you might be tempted to go frozen. Most frozen vegetables are imported, so if you want local, check labels of origin carefully.
In the vegie patch: Harvest rhubarb stems by twisting them from the base of the plant. Leave a third of the stems on the plant to keep it growing.
- Celebrate the brief truffle season. Order online from Canberra or Western Australian suppliers.
- The cold wet weather has put a dampener on the strawberry season.
- Afourer is a Moroccan mandarin that is the most popular mandarin in the world, if you go by sales volume alone. We prefer our Australian discovery, the Imperial. Time for a taste-off.
- Grey-tinged bananas look sickly, but it’s just the cold. They taste fine.