Mike’s Spring Produce Guide

Spring is when you start to feel the pinch of the sun that wakes you from the chilly winter months. The same thing happens with bees! You will start to see more of them buzzing around gathering pollen from the early spring blooms as they awaken from their winter hibernation. We have a number of beehives at Carriageworks which are kept by Doug Purdie of the Urban Beehive. Ask the information desk to point you in the right direction and pay them a visit. We also sell jars of Carriageworks honey from these exact hives.

Here’s my round up of seasonal produce for Spring:

  • September is the start of the Sydney Rock Oysters season which will now run until March. There are hundreds of inlets along the NSW coast that specialise in different oysters. Keep your eyes open for some of my favourites from Nelson Lagoon, Tathra and Wapengo.
  • Globe Artichokes are often overlooked due to the preparation involved, however what could be simpler than peeling the stalk and simmering the thistle whole in white wine and stock until tender. The way to eat them is to peel the leaves off one by one, dipping the fleshy part at the bottom of the leaves into mustard vinaigrette before scraping the delicious soft flesh off with your teeth. As you reach the centre, after eating the leaves, the choke will be exposed. This hairy-looking substance should be removed by scooping it out with your fork or a spoon before you eat the heart with your knife and fork. Delish!!
  • Hass and Sharwill Avocadoes are at their best.
  • New season garlic has an intensity of flavour that’s best friend and serving partner is is Spring Lamb. It can be treated like a leek either tossed in a pan or braised slowly in the oven
  • The last of the local lemons are around until mid-spring so it’s time to preserve them for the summer by packing them in jars in salt and spices of your choice. I like saffron, nigella seeds, cinnamon and star anise.
  • Blood oranges also have a very short run from Mid-August until October so use them as much as you can. My favourite morning tonic is the juice of 1 blood orange, a sprig of fresh oregano and a slither of chilli to get your blood moving.
  • The quintessential spring ingredients are asparagus and peas and broad beans. Use them while you can and reap their sweet flavours and benefits. Both contain vitamins A, B complex, and C which are all anti-inflammatory. These help the body develop resistance to infectious agents, so they’re great for boosting immunity at the beginning of the season change from Winter.

Much love,
Mike xx