Produce report July 9: Fruit and vege buys of the week
New Zealand navel oranges have arrived in supermarkets, staying until their early summer departure and helping us keep up our vitamin C quota over winter and spring. These large, sweet oranges are usually seedless, making them even more desirable. One orange will provide our entire recommended daily intake of vitamin C and also contains folate, potassium and niacin (the latter essential for brain and nerve function, also helping to reduce fatigue).
Store oranges in the fruit bowl at room temperature for about a week. Refrigerated, they will last about three weeks longer. If you are picking your own, remember ripe oranges may revert back to green if kept on the tree. This will not affect the flavour — navel oranges can stay on the tree for three or four months after the fruit reaches a mature size.
Use in a winter salad with avocados, which are finally more affordable than they have been for a very long time. Add finely sliced red onion too and dress with vinaigrette, with the addition of a little orange juice if you fancy reinforcing the flavour.
Look out for local daikon radishes. These long white Asian radishes are often braised in Chinese dishes or made into one of the best yum cha dishes, “turnip” cakes (lo bak go), which actually contain no turnip at all. They are also pickled by the Vietnamese and grated raw by the Japanese to serve with sashimi. Thinly sliced, they add a sweetish spicy crunch to winter salads. Look for firm unwrinkled daikons and store them in the fridge for up to a week. Peel before eating.