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We flow into September and with that comes the joy of finding new spring produce. The food markets are particularly colourful with their display of wonderful goods.

Early spring brings in the new and everything seems so bright and cheerful. It’s a time to celebrate with tiny green peas, tender lamb and sweet little leeks.

Baby leeks are gorgeous and can be used in their entirety, just trim off the base. I like to cook leeks with a butter or olive oil a sprinkle of salt, cook over gentle heat until they are just soft and wilted to bring out their sweetness. For a light treat serve them with smoked salmon on toast. I also, like to serve them as a warm salad with goat’s cheese and Hazelnut dressing.

Spring lamb from the Karroo is another wonderful treat; it has a delicate taste and should have a rosy pink flesh and pure white fat. I cook it very gently so that it is still pink in the middle when serving.

Glorious spring peas are so sweet and delicious. Beware of buying fresh shelled peas though as they quickly turn starchy. Try to buy pods that are full and heavy for their size with a crisp snap to them when broken.

Also in season are:

Fruit:

apples, cumquats, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, oranges, papayas, paw-paws, pineapples, tangelos

Vegetables:

artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broad beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, morels, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, silver beet, spinach

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