In season late winter: Kohlrabi, limes, Italian parsley
Kohlrabi is German for cabbage-turnip, though it is sweeter than both of them. Kohlrabi contains vitamins C and B6, thiamin, folate, potassium and fibre. Like other members of the brassica family, it contains beneficial phytonutrients.
Kohlrabi is delicious stir-fried, mashed, or grated for slaws and salads. Usually it’s the bulb that is eaten (once peeled and cored) but the leaves can also be used – just cook them similarly to kale. Kohlrabi is found in Asian or specialty grocery stores.
Roast herb chicken and potatoes with tangy kohlrabi slaw
Limes are a good source of vitamin C and great for our immune system. Peter Beck, a Gisborne lime grower, answers our questions about the sour fruit.
What’s the best climate? Limes like plenty of sunlight and they hate frosts. Grow trees north-south so each gets maximum sunlight as the day progresses.
What’s an interesting fact about limes? A few hundred years ago, sailors often ended their days in a very sorry state with scurvy from a lack of vitamin C. It was discovered drinking lime juice helped reduce scurvy rates.
What is the best way to use limes? Whenever you think of using a lemon, use a lime instead. It will lead to some amazing culinary delights.
Peter’s top tip: Get maximum juice from your lime by microwaving for 20 seconds. Remove and roll on bench before cutting.
Lime and chilli chicken miso soup
Ginger-lime chicken with Asian greens
Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley, contains vitamins A and C, iron and fibre. Gerard Martin, owner of King Seeds, answers our questions.
What’s the best use for fresh parsley? Use it as a garnish or in salads, or finely chopped in with breadcrumbs when making schnitzel or crumbed chicken. It is also a refreshing tea (leave to draw for three minutes). The mature root can also be eaten like a parsnip – try it in with your mixed roast veges.
Any tips for starting a herb garden? Think of culinary herbs in two groups: annuals and perennials. Annuals such as basil, coriander and dill, all need to be sown successively through the season, as one decent pick is all they will handle. Perennials such as thyme, sage, oregano, and parsley will handle repeat harvests, if left to recover between picks.
If you’re starting this month, buy potted herbs from the garden centre or supermarket. Once the weather warms up, sow a range of herbs with the intention of re-sowing more of the annual types on a regular basis.
- Enrich the soil so it has got lots of humus and is free draining. Side dress with lime every year.
- Have a plan so that perennial herbs have room to spread and annual herbs can be sown in rotation.
Seafood and black bean stew
Baked meatballs with tomato, olives and ricotta
Fresh this month
(Harvested in New Zealand gardens in August)
Vegetables: Broad beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, lettuce, yams, parsnips, radishes, rhubarb, silver beet, swedes, turnips, watercress
Herbs: Chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme
Fruit: Grapefruit, lemons, Satsuma mandarins, navel oranges, tamarillos, tangerines