Season's best: March 2024

Season’s best: March 2024

March offers a wealth of delicious treats from the garden and orchard, making it hard to narrow our season’s favourites down to just a few, particularly considering the glut of cucumber, lettuce, and plums filling the fridge of late. However, some of these goodies below have a relatively short-lived season by comparison, so it’s worth enjoying them when you can, writes Catherine Milford.


These root veggies are part of the mustard family, which is why you get that peppery taste that can sometimes verge on the spicy. The most common radish in New Zealand is the little round pink one with white flesh, although the white radish, known as daikon, is a staple in most Asian restaurants. They can grow to be huge, so you may not want a whole one in your camper. Radishes are delicious raw and thinly sliced in salads, but you can also enjoy them sautéed or roasted, although, my favourite has to be pickled. Slice them up and place them in a sterilised jar, then bring a saucepan of apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seeds, and a bay leaf to the boil. Cool and pour over the radishes. Seal the jar and leave for a few days. Yum!

Honeydew melon

Season's best: March 2024

There’s something deeply satisfying about a juicy melon, and the sweet honeydew is at its best during the late summer months. Also known as White Antibes, honeydew melons can be traced back 4000 years in West Africa, and there’s evidence they were also enjoyed by the Egyptians. A good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, this low-calorie fruit isn’t as aromatic as some other melons. Pick your melon when it’s more yellow than green, with smoother skin (for perfect ripeness) and store in the fridge once cut. Make sure it’s ripe when you cut it, as it won’t continue to ripen. If you have a blender, melon is delicious in smoothies and partners beautifully with ginger and mint.

Food guide: 5 of the best Waikato eats

Pantry staple: canned peaches

Season's best: March 2024
Season’s best: March 2024

Just thinking about a can of peaches takes me back to my childhood. We’d eat them outside, served with a slather of evaporated milk, slurping the sweet juices quickly so we could get back on our bikes. Full of vitamin K and E, folate, and iron, canned peaches are great to have on hand if you’re off-grid for a while and need a nutrient kick. For a quick morning smoothie, blend peaches with a banana and coconut milk, or try it with almond milk, a dollop of Greek yoghurt, and a spoonful of peanut butter for a real energy boost.

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