In season

September 20

In now: Impatient mango-lovers can hunt up early-season mangoes from around Darwin, but the sweet peak mango season is still a way off.

At its best: Broad beans are at their sweetest. The pods develop strong flavours and a mealy texture as they mature so choose small beans. If you grow your own try harvesting them at little finger size and cooking as for snowpeas, topped and tailed and enjoyed whole.

Best buy: Strawberry specials have us thinking jam, sauce, ice cream, and dehydrated strawberry chips.

In the vegie patch: Pick the peas daily to encourage a bigger harvest.

What else:

  • The blood oranges won’t be around for much longer. Eke out the season by freezing some juice. I made a blood orange granita recently, by sieving blood orange juice with lemon and sugar syrup to taste. (Remember that food doesn’t taste as sweet once it’s frozen so needs to taste a bit too sweet when it’s at room temperature.) Freeze in a shallow plastic container, and scrape with a fork every few hours to break up the ice crystals. We ate it with panna cotta ice cream and fresh raspberries and were very happy.
  • The globe artichokes are nearly over.
  • Rhubarb is very good at the moment.
  • In Melbourne last weekend I found Brussels sprouts on every menu. Trimmed, halved, boiled til tender firm and then slightly charred in pan or oven, they were matched with bacon bits; or hazelnuts and goats cheese; or pine nuts and fetta; or lemon zest, peppery green olive oil and very good salt. All delicious.
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