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In season May: Fennel, olives, leeks

In season May: Fennel, olives, leeks

Fennel

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.

Recipe ideas

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

Olives

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.

Nutrition fact

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.

Recipe ideas

Steak with olive and caper mayo
Fresh tomato puttanesca

Leeks

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.

Recipe ideas

Leek, kale and potato soup with pizza pitas
Chicken and fennel bake
Fresh tomato puttanesca

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



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