The best ingredients for cooking in April

by Ed Halmagyi


Getting your family fed at the start of Autumn is not as hard as we’re sometimes led to believe. Because in Australia, it’s not rally early Autumn, more like late summer. There’s still plenty of the Provencale veggies that we rely on like tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and so on, plus the beans and other legumes are still going very well too.

What’s more with tree fruits in full swing and some great plums still doing the rounds the fruit world isn’t too bad either.

In fact, the only area of concern right now seems to be seafood. A range of climatic and seasonal issues (including loads of coastal rain) have seen a massive reduction in local catch, and as such a big rise in the cost of pelagic fish and crustaceans. It seems that when lots of fresh water mixes with the salt along the coast many species head further out to sea. Funny, actually, I wouldn’t have though it made such a big difference, but there you go!

Asian greens, Beans (all types and golden from Queensland), Broccoli, Capsicums, Chestnuts, Cucumbers, Eggplant (including small Asian varieties), Eschalots, Garlic (new season – it’s amazing), Lettuces (hydroponic and farm-fresh), Mushrooms, Okra (choose little ones for sweetness and texture), Onions, Potatoes (maincrop), Radishes, Sprouts (all varieties), Sugar snap peas, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini (especially the deliciously sweet yellow varieties)

Apples (first of the season), Bananas, Figs, Grapes (table grapes of all shades and tastes), Guava, Mangosteens, Nashi pears, Nectarines, Papaya, Passionfruit, Pawpaw, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Quinces, Rambutans, Tamarillo

Barramundi (farmed and wild), Blue swimmer crab, Bream (Yellowfin and Black), Coral Trout, Dory (Mirror and John), Flathead (Dusky & Deepwater), Garfish (southern and snubnose), Goatfish, Kingfish (farmed), Latchet, Mackeral (Spanish), Mud crab, Mullet, Murray Cod, Ocean jackets – best time of the year, Oreodory (all varieties), Oysters (Sydney Rock, although not for long), Prawns (this is the time of year for the best King), Salmon, Sardines (WA), Silver Perch, Snapper (Red is best), Squid (all species), Trumpeter, Tuna (yellowfin is brilliant and oily), Western rock lobster, Whiting (sand and King George)