When we started Backyard Bounty with the idea of making preserves from excess home-grown produce, one thing we regularly got offered, especially in the cooler months, was lemons! We did what we could to use them (preserved lemons, a couple of varieties of marmalade) but often we simply couldn’t use all of them. With our new wholesale arm starting this year, we’ve discovered that there’s a huge demand for lemons and other home-grown citrus – both in retail and hospitality – and this means that we’re in a much better position than ever before to find homes for your unwanted lemons, limes, cumquats, grapefruits and even oranges! This week we were able to source 40kg of lemons, 15kg of limes, 15kg of grapefruits, 12kg of cumquats and 3kg of oranges from five different home growers around Hobart and distribute them both to some of our restaurant and cafe customers; and we even had enough lemons to put a squeeze in our $20 and $40 boxes this week. There’s hundreds – if not thousands – of backyard citrus trees dropping fruit at this time of the year, and we can pay cash (or give you credit towards your vegie boxes if you’re a customer) for ripe, fresh citrus – if you don’t have the time we can even come and pick it for you!
Tasmanian is actually one of the largest onion-growing states in Australia – we often include brown and red onions from Scottsdale in our boxes, but this week’s $30 and $40 boxes include echallions from Premium Fresh. Sometimes known as banana shallots, echallions have the mild, sweet flavour of shallots, but are much easier to cut than true shallots, which tend to have multiple lobes that all need peeling. If you’re feeling brave, you might like to try combining the echallions and tarragon included in this week’s to make a classic sauce béarnaise: an emulsion of butter and egg flavoured with a shallot and white wine reduction with chopped tarragon stirred through at the end.