Pro­duce re­port

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The month of May is peak sea­son for per­sim­mons. Look­ing al­most too strik­ing to pick, th­ese vi­brant orange fruits pro­vide plenty of vi­ta­mins A and C along with potas­sium and a pleas­ing sweet crunch (mostly we buy the non-as­trin­gent fuyu va­ri­ety in New Zealand that doesn’t need to be eaten soft).

Per­sim­mons are at­trac­tive cut into a fruit salad and sliced on a cheese­board. You may want to as­sem­ble one for Mum this Sun­day if yours is not a cakeor dessert-lov­ing house­hold. How­ever, per­sim­mons are good cooked too. If it is dessert that Mum is af­ter, then try them ina per­sim­mon steamed pud­ding with co­conut anglaise, recipe on

Per­sim­mons will be with us un­til end of June and should be stored in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Es­pe­cially good buy­ing from Asian su­per­mar­kets and farm­ers’ mar­kets.

But it’s back to the cheese­board now with green ap­ples — they are a clas­sic ac­com­pa­ni­ment, es­pe­cially good with sharp cheeses. New-sea­son Granny Smiths fit the bill nicely. Har­vested late April and early May, they are a tra­di­tional pie and bak­ing stal­wart be­cause they hold their shape when cooked. Com­bine them with other va­ri­eties for a fuller, more rounded ap­ple flavour. As with all ap­ples, store in the fridge. This week, as it’s all about Mum, we’re also pick­ing up a few pas­sion­fruit. While never cheap, it’s time to make the most of their sweet tangy charm in an ic­ing atop an af­ter­noon

Limes are hit­ting their strides. Go wild juic­ing them for sal­sas and in Asian­in­spired slaws. While they are so abun­dant, con­sider freez­ing the juice in ice cube trays, pop out the cubes and store in plas­tic bags. And, be­cause much of the flavour is found in the skin, it’s a sim­ple thing to zest them first and freeze that too, sep­a­rately, in plas­tic bags to add to cook­ing and


tea sponge or to sand­wich melt­ing mo­ments to­gether.

For full-on flavour, driz­zle that pulp over a pas­sion­fruit tart with co­conut. Recipe on

Keep an eye out for wa­ter­cress. It is more read­ily avail­able in stores at this time of year and brings pep­pery fresh­ness to the dainty chicken or smoked salmon club sand­wiches you may have in mind for Sun­day. As a salad, wa­ter­cress off­sets rich foods and it makes a flavour­some soup (in­clude those big stalks).

Very nu­tri­tious, wa­ter­cress is high in vi­ta­min K for bone health and has loads of vi­ta­mins C and A. How­ever, it is very per­ish­able, so needs to be used soon af­ter pur­chase or pick­ing. When buy­ing, look for very green leaves with­out any yel­low­ing. Re­frig­er­ate wa­ter­cress in plas­tic bags or, if there are roots at­tached to your bunch, place in a jar of wa­ter on the bench. Suzanne Dale

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