In now: Cumquats aren’t just for marmalade; the whole fruit is edible. As jam makers know the skin is the best bit, but try the golden globes sliced thinly to give salads a sweet-tart-bitter lift.
At its best: Queensland-grown seedless watermelon is particularly good at the moment. If the idea of cold salad has you reaching for a beanie, try slices of watermelon grilled on the barbecue with a grind of black pepper and sprinkle of sea salt or drizzled with balsamic.
Best buy: Pickle, poach, preserve or dehydrate cheap pears.
In the vegie patch: After the cumquat harvest, prune the tree to shape and remove dead wood. Follow with citrus fertiliser to promote growth and flowers in spring.
- there is lots of imported produce around. If you want to limit food miles and eat in season now is not the time to be enjoying stone fruit, cherries or asparagus.
- parsnips are fashionable enough to be pricey, but swedes are still a budget buy. Peel and slice no fatter than a centimetre, fry gently in butter til starting to brown, then add a little stock and let them cook until soft.
- swedes also add variety to the roasting tray, as do Jerusalem artichokes, plenty of which are around now.
- winter melon is a good stir fry option. Peel, slice and fry up with garlic and/or ginger, finish with a drizzle of sesame oil, or a splash of black vinegar.