The berries of the native Australian lilly pilly plant can be eaten fresh, and have a lovely flavour in sauces and jams.
The berries of the native Australian lilly pilly plant can be eaten fresh, and have a lovely flavour in sauces and jams.

Lots of sweet new offerings at local farmers’ markets

Cinnamon cap mushrooms

A favourite in Japan, cinnamon cap mushrooms are known for their crisp, crunchy texture and delicious earthy flavour. They have small caps – only 1-3cm diameter with tall, slender stems, and can be used whole, stems included. Pan fry in olive oil and butter as a side dish, use in risottos, stir-fries, soups like miso, and egg dishes. Use immediately for the best flavour. Cinnamon caps are available now from the Shroom Brothers stall at Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market.

Lilly pilly

These little pink berries have long been a food source for indigenous Australians and for the early European settlers, who used them in jams and cordials. Native to the coastal rainforests of northern NSW and South East Queensland, lilly pilly plants are often used as hedges in suburban areas. The berries can be eaten fresh, and have a lovely flavour in sauces and jams. Native food grower Rebecca Barnes, who runs the Playing With Fire stall at the Mullumbimby and New Brighton farmers’ markets, says lilly pilly berries are in abundance this season and she has plenty of fresh fruit available. Rebecca also has a homemade lilly pilly cordial available.

Figs

With a sweet, honey-like flavour and soft, luscious texture, fresh figs are a real treat. Delicious as is, their sweetness is also a perfect match for savoury foods like cheeses, cured meats, nuts and rich dairy products like marscapone. Delicious in a salad try fresh figs with Nimbin Valley Dairy’s goat cheese, fresh leafy greens and chopped local macadamias. Find fresh figs at the Picone Exotics stall at Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market.

Also in season

Bananas, blueberries, blackberries, capsicum, cucumber, dragonfruit, eggplant, garlic, lime, mango, mushroom, papaya, tomato, rockmelon, squash, sweet potato, watermelon and zucchini