Norman Bedeman, the Eastern Cape buyer for Fruit & Veg City, gave us a quick update on what’s in season or plentiful right now – and what’s starting to fall off the fruit and veggie radar. Cooking with seasonal SA ingredients is a great idea because food tastes better – and it should work out cheaper than forking out for imported produce!
SA satsumas are starting to come in season now.
Bananas are coming into season.
Grapes are plentiful, whether white, black or red (see Louise’s recipe below!)
Apples like Royal Gala and Golden Delicious are coming into season and the Star Kings in the Cape are coming along nicely, Norman says.
Pears, which started coming in in January already, are still plentiful, whether red, brown or greenish varieties.
Avocados are starting up but are not quite as plentiful as they should be at this time of year because of too much rain their cultivation area. However I (Louise) spotted some poly-packs at Fruit & Veg for only R14-odd for four. That’s a bargain any day, so don’t miss the resultant recipe below!
There are some good local kiwifruits available at the moment.
Plums are on their way out.
On the veggie front, staples like tomatoes, onions, potatoes, butternuts, greenbeans, gem squash and beetroot are plentiful. Sweetcorn is still available while white mielies should come in in about two weeks’ time.
Cooking with fresh seasonal ingredients
Grape and avocado salad
(Serves 6 as a side dish)
This recipe using seasonal ingredients came about when, about to serve dinner to some friends the other day, I realised I’d forgotten to buy cherry tomatoes for the salad. No problem – a handful of seedless red globe grapes made for a fantastic alternative, plus the sweetness worked well with the creaminess of the avocado.
Ingredients and method
Take some washed and spin-dried lettuce leaves – I like to use one butter/ iceberg lettuce, washed and torn into bite sizes; plus a good handful of rocket or wild rocket for contrast – spread these out on a platter. Sprinkle with: 1 ripe avocado, diced; 1/4 cucumber, peeled and diced; a good handful of washed, seedless red globe grapes; a small handful of diced feta or Danish feta and a small handful of croutons (the plain ones from Woolies are perfect). Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and dress with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.