Those lucky enough to be on this side of the world will still be enjoying the abundance of produce that a warm spring and summer brings as well as the early Autumn crops.
March is the last month for locally caught Blue Fin Tuna this tuna is delicious marinated in in a little olive oil, lime and ginger and barbecued or pan fried and served on a simple tomato salsa or slice it in thin slices and serve at sashimi with some wasabi and Japanese soy sauce or carpaccio with olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and some parmesan shavings.
Maroons are good in March and work well in salads or served with pasta and noodles (make a sauce for the pasta by making a stock with the shells and adding cream to the reduced stock). This month also offers Rock Lobster, Mud Crab and Blue Swimmer these crustaceans are best bought live or recently boiled, when choosing live crustacean be sure they have all their claws and legs, and are lively, if buying freshly boiled check that their shell is bright and that they smell fresh and not of ammonia (fishy).
Mud Crabs are considered the king of crabs with plenty of plenty of succulent flesh. I love Chinese Stuffed Crab Claws (use the rest of the white flesh in salads, spring rolls, souffles, soups etc). Blue swimmer crab are good in seafood stews soups and stir fries or serve freshly boiled with lemon slices, tabasco and mayonnaise or remove the white meat and prepare in a salad or as the recipe requires.
Atlantic Salmon, Wild Barramundi from Queensland and Northern Territory, King Fish, Pink Snapper, King George Whiting from South Australia and Victoria and Garfishare all good. Try this months recipe for Coconut Coated Garfish on Peach Salsa.
Lamb is still young and succulent in March, so enjoy them while they are still tender by roasting racks and legs of lambs so that they are still pink or simply grilling or pan frying lamb cutlets and serve them with a fresh leaf salad. Try this month's recipe of African Steamed Leg of Lamb.
Wild Duck season is from mid February until mid June eat them while they are young and are suitable for quick cooking methods such as pan frying and roasting (try our recipe for roast mallard). Young wild duck breast are excellent pan fried, while you can prepare a confit with the legs (see recipe index) and the carcass and wings can be used for stock. Older birds will need to be cooked by slower methods such as braising and pot roasting.
Salad Leaves: A large selection of salad leaves hit the supermarket shelves and markets, enjoy light salads for early Autumn picnics and barbecues or in delicious warm salads such as a salad of wild mushrooms.
Autumn marks the beginning of the Wild Mushrooms season. Just like game some mushrooms are unable to be produced commercially and are only available at certain times of the year. While they may seem a luxury they are delicious, you only need a produce a full flavour. When choosing them look for smooth unblemished skin. If picking them yourself always use a good guide book. Eat them fresh or refrigerate for a few days. Clean mushrooms by brushing them or rinsing them lightly and dry them with kitchen paper. Try our wild mushroom risotto recipe or one of our other mushroom recipes through our index or search for them by typing in mushrooms.
In March olives can be picked from wild olive trees in South Australia and can be purchased fresh from markets. Olives are a must in a Nicoise Salad or serve as a nibble with drinks, on a pizza or prepare in a tapenade or try our Olive Tapas recipe.
Also good are courgettes, aubergines, capsicums, and tomatoesdelicious oven roasted or grilled and served with buffalo mozzarella or in a pasta or try our recipe for Autumn Picnic Bread. Corn on the cob is reasonably priced this month, why not try making a Corn and Clam Chowder of course you can replace the clams with mussels or prawns or for a vegetarian version add diced capsicum instead of seafood.
In March Figs come into season and are delicious served with a selection of cheeses for a dessert, bake briefly in a hot oven and serve with a generous dollop of thick cream or cut figs in quarters and wrap in Parma ham and serve with a balsamic dressing, pine nuts and shavings of parmesan.
Pomegranates are another Autumn fruit which are very popular in hot European countries such as Italy, you need to scoop out the juice and seeds from the coarse skin and flesh to eat them (this can be very messy), boil the seeds and juice with port to make an excellent sauce for roasted rack of lamb or pork.
March marks the beginning of the orchard fruit season. With Australian pears such as the duchess a green pear that turns yellow when ripe and apples including fuji, jonathon and royal gala.
Also In Season: Seedless grapes are widely available eat them on their own or why not try a Spanish White Gazpacho Soup (made with ground almonds, garlic and olive oil and grapes) or serve them with a selection of cheese. Plums and greenages are at their best.
Going, Going, Gone: March is the last month of the summer berry season so make the most of them while they are still around, why not try serving them with brandy snap baskets and sorbet or preserving them in cointreau.
Pistachios originate from the Middle East and Asia Minor. Pistachios don't just taste good, they look good too with pink/purple/green flesh, as a result they are often used for colour in terrines, stuffing's eg. galantine chicken or duck and in rice and couscous dishes eg. jeweled rice. Australian pistachios are produced in the Murray Valley which are harvested in March each year.