Increasing in popularity in New Zealand, fennel has an aniseed flavour and is very easy to grow. The whole fennel plant can be eaten, including the seeds, bulb and fronds. The fennel season is relatively short, and goes through to August.
Roasted whole cauliflower with tomato, fennel and chickpea galette
Fish with homemade tartare sauce, fennel slaw and crispy crushed potatoes
Chicken and fennel bake
Pearl barley autumn vegetable risotto
Fish and fennel stew
Olive trees were first brought to New Zealand in the 1830s by the early European settlers. There are now in excess of 400 groves, which range in size from 100 trees (hobby growers) to 40,000 (commercial). In addition to the whole olives for eating, New Zealand also produces highly regarded olive oil.
Fifteen grams of olives (about four to six, depending on their size) have around 2-4g fat, predominantly healthy monounsaturated fat, and up to 150kJ. If olives are in brine (salt solution) be sure to rinse them well to reduce the amount of sodium you’re consuming.
A member of the onion family, leeks are widely available in the autumn and winter. They look like a large spring onion, and bring a delicate onion flavour to dishes. They are suitable for stewing, steaming, boiling, or frying.
Clean leeks by slicing, then soaking in a bowl of water. The grit should sink.
Leeks are easy to grow and require full sun and moist soil – using mulch is best.
Fresh this month
Harvested in New Zealand gardens in May:
- Vegetables: Beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chillies, cucumber, eggplant, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kumara, onions, parsnips, pumpkin, radishes, shallots, silver beet, spinach, spring onions, squash, swedes, turnips, watercress
- Herbs: Basil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme
- Fruit: Apples, feijoas, figs, grapes, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, passion fruit, quince, rhubarb, tamarillos, tangerines