What’s in season in March

Eating local and seasonal fruit and vegetables is not only good for our health, but it can also be advantageous for the flavour and nutrition of the food we eat, the wellbeing of the environment and the impact on our wallet. Check out what’s around this month. Fruits

Apple (red and green varieties) Apricot Avocado Banana Blackberry Blueberry Breadfruit Coconut Cumquat Custard Apple Date Fig Gooseberry Grapes (red varieties) Grapefruit Guava Honeydew Kiwifruit Lemon Lime Lychee Mango Nectarine Orange Olives Passionfruit Paw Paw Peach Pear Persimmon Pineapple Plum Pomegranate Quince Raspberry Rockmelon Rosella Strawberry Watermelon Carambola (also known as Star Fruit) Dragon Fruit Mangosteen Rambutan

March marks the end of season for fresh availability of apricots, blackberries, lychees and peaches, but there are some interesting fruits that come into season for a limited time from this month including persimmons. This somewhat ‘exotic’ fruit has a subtle flavour and is finding favour in more Australian cooking because it can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. The persimmon and prosciutto salad with walnut dressing is a tasty and easy dish if you’re wanting to try a persimmon for yourself. INGREDIENTS CRUST: 3 persimmons 250g thinly sliced prosciutto 3 cups rocket leaves 1 witlof, leaves separated 60g walnut halves, coarsely chopped 1 cup shaved parmesan WALNUT DRESSING: 1 small garlic clove, crushed 2 tbsp walnut oil 2 tbsp olive oil 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup light cream METHOD Make the walnut dressing by combining the garlic, walnut oil, olive oil and vinegar in a food processor and process until well combined. While the processor is still on add the cream in a steady stream and continue processing until the mix is smooth and emulsified. Be careful not to overdo it though as the mixture may curdle. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, slice the persimmons width-ways into 2mm thick slices. Arrange the prosciutto, rocket, witlof and walnuts on a serving plate. Season with salt and pepper, then scatter with parmesan and a drizzling of the dressing before serving.   Vegetables

Asparagus Beans (green, broad, flat varieties) Beetroot Broccoflower Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Capsicum Carrot Cauliflower Celeriac Celery Chinese Cabbage Chinese Spinach Chilli Choko Cucumber Eggplant Endive Fennel Garlic Ginger Kale Leek Lettuce Lok Bok (also known as Daikon) Mushroom Okra Onion Onion (spring and eschallot) Parsnip Peas Potato Pumpkin (Jap and Butternut varieties) Radish Rhubarb Silverbeet Snow Peas Spinach Sprouts Squash Sweet Corn Sweet Potato Taro Tomato Turnip/Swede Watercress Witlof Zucchini

It’s out with beans and in with Brussels sprouts from March until around September, but before you screw up your face and groan in disgust be tempted by these 11 easy recipes. Brussels sprouts are a great source of Vitamin C and a moderate source of dietary fibre, iron, potassium and riboflavin.

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