Rattle your cage of comfort with unfamiliar seasonal produce

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Today I was thinking about how lucky we are in Australia to have escaped the worst of Covid compared to most other countries in the world; and while I am grateful, proud, and extremely relieved, I am rather ungratefully suffering from low-level boredom from not being able to travel internationally or have anyone from overseas visit me.

And so, because I am fully aware that happiness starts from within and no one can fix this feeling but me, I have set myself a little game to try and have a new experience every single day.
Take food for example. It's easy, and it saves time and brainpower to fall into a routine and eat similar meals throughout the week, but it is also quite boring.

Each week in the Market Fresh Report we bring you the best buys from Sydney Markets and each week there are always a few fruits or vegetables that I don't routinely eat.

This week, we have quince, radicchio, and Jerusalem artichoke, none of which I can remember eating for at least 3 years, for no reason other than, because they are seasonal, I fell out of the habit.

And so, to shake myself from this boring malaise, I plan to head out to the greengrocer's and pick up these three foods, explore new recipes, and add nutrients to my diet which I may not be getting enough of right now.


Quinces offer a rich supply of copper and antioxidants. The antioxidants found in quince include quercetin and kaempferol, which may help to reduce inflammation, and metabolic stress, while copper, contributes to iron absorption and together with iron, enables the body to form red blood cells, and maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function.

Suggested way to prepare and cook
Stay tuned and I'll add this as a recipe, but the plan is to make a poaching broth with honey, orange peel, water, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon and a couple of cloves. Peel the quince and remove the cores, drop them in acidulated water so they don't discolour, then arrange them in a baking dish in the poaching broth, cover tightly and cook in a lid tightly and bake at 140C for about 4 hours until tender. Serve with halva crumbled over the quince, a scattering of rose petals, and accompanying cream, ice cream or yoghurt.


Radicchio is a bitter type of chicory which is high in zinc, copper, and vitamin K. Its bitter leaves may help to stimulate digestion.
Zinc is needed to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It also helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.

Suggested way to prepare and cook
The obvious way is to shred it into a salad and the combination of radicchio, shaved fennel and pomegranate with a pomegranate molasses dressing takes some beating. That said, now that we are in Autumn it's nice to cook leaves. My plan is to slice the radicchio, heat a seasoned grill pan, brush it with olive oil and grill until softened. Serve it up with a glug of premium extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper, a drizzle of lemon juice and some strong-tasting grated pecorino, to offset the strong bitter leaves. Delish!

Jerusalem Artichoke

Vegans take note, when it comes to iron, Jerusalem artichokes are the bomb; one cup provides 28 per cent of the recommended daily intake of iron. Jerusalem artichoke is also an extremely good source of inulin, a soluble fibre that helps regular blood sugar levels and promotes gut health.

Suggested way to prepare and cook
There's no better way, I think than roasting these guys. If you have an air fryer, use that otherwise, mix 2 tbs olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, slivers of garlic, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss 500 g Jerusalem artichokes in the oil to coat. Arrange on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven (180C) to toast for 35 minutes until tender.

Please feel free to steal these suggested food and serving ideas, otherwise head over to MarketFresh and find some ideas of your own.

Enjoy rattling your cage!


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