These fruit and vegetables may not be well-known but they are extremely tasty and can be used in a variety of dishes. Give them a try!
Cumquats are native to Asian countries and look like a smaller version of an orange. They are a very hardy plant and can survive low temperatures. The fruit has a sweet peel and a sour flesh- it can be eaten whole as a way to balance the flavours. Most commonly cumquats are used in jams, chutneys and preserves.
Try adding them to salads for a bit of zing or poaching them in spices and serving with cream to create a warm winter dessert. The fruit adds a nice flavour to meats such as chicken, pork and fish.
Custard apples are at their peak in the winter months in South East Queensland. They are a large fruit with a thick, green outer skin and white juicy flesh. Custard apples are best eaten when they are soft to touch, much like an avocado. Here are some ways the fruit can be used:
- Add it to ice-cream and sorbet mixtures
- Use as an accompaniment to curries to counteract the spiciness
- Serve with muesli and yoghurt in the morning
- For something different add it to your pancake mixture as you would banana or blueberries
Popularly known as ‘Ladies’ fingers’ okra is a five-sided, slightly fuzzy green vegetable. It has a similar taste and consistency to zucchini and eggplant. When okra is sliced and cooked it releases a slimy substance which acts as a thickening agent in stews and curries. To reduce the sliminess either cook the okra whole or add an acidic ingredient such as lemon or tomato.
Okra is a great addition to curries, stir fries and soups. Alternatively it can be fried with herbs and spices to create a tasty side dish.
Daikon is a large white radish native to East Asia. It has a light, peppery taste and can be served cooked or raw. In Asian countries it is most commonly used in pickles.
Try including it in a dip platter as crudités or grating it into a salad. It can also be used as a replacement for cabbage in coleslaw or roasted with other root vegetables. For something adventurous add it to a fruit smoothie for a hit of vitamin C, daikon has a very mild flavour and won’t change the taste.