What's fresh at your local farmers' market
It's starting to feel a lot like summer at the markets, with the first of the new season sweet corn now appearing. For pure sweet corn deliciousness, wrap your cobs in foil with some butter, garlic and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and salt, and cook on the barbecue. Hint: Cook and eat your sweet corn as soon as possible after buying it. Over time, the sugars in sweet corn start converting to starch, so the longer you leave it, the less sweet it will be (this is why fresh corn tastes so much better than corn that has been sitting on a supermarket shelf for a week). Try Will Everest (New Brighton Farmers' Market), Matt Everest (Mullumbimby Farmers' Market) and Morrow Farm (Mullum) for sweet and fresh locally-grown corn.
Another summer favourite, sweet and fragrant basil is at its best over the coming months. Blend with local macadamias, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and salt for a delicious pesto, add it to pasta dishes, or sprinkle on pizza just before serving for some fresh flavour. Basil is notoriously tricky to keep fresh, so if you're not going to use your basil straight away, you will need to store it properly. The Salad Hut (New Brighton/Mullum) recommends the following for all fresh herbs: Chop off the roots, wrap in paper towel and put in a sealed container or clip-lock bag in the fridge. Look for fresh basil at The Salad Hut (New Brighton/Mullum), Fossil Farm (New Brighton), Summit Organics (Mullum/New Brighton), Organic Forrest (Mullum), Iona Herbs (Mullum) and from Glenyce Creighton's stall (New Brighton/Mullum).
Most of the pepper we eat is the dried, black version. Before it becomes dried pepper, however, it's a fresh peppercorn, which looks like a small green berry. Fresh peppercorns are milder (but still have a hot kick), and have a complex and fresh, fruity flavour. They make an incredible pepper sauce, and also pair well with goats cheese, seafood and the flavours of Thai and Indian cooking. Fresh peppercorns available from rare and exotic fruit and spice grower John Picone (New Brighton/Mullum).