Barry Sears has written a book called The 100 Top Zone Foods that has a lot of useful information about these foods in it. Of course there are way more than 100 really good Zone favourable foods. One of these is worth mentioning as it is in season now. Fennel bulbs have a fresh crisp aniseed flavour.
If you are not familiar with this vegetable that is under rated and under utilised in New Zealand it could be worth trying it. It adds flavour when sliced raw into salads and can be stir fried, boiled or roasted. Another way to prepare it is to slice the bulb finely, add a little milk, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and bake in a medium oven until cheese browns and fennel is tender. In Italy it is prepared in several ways including sliced and dipped into olive oil with fingers and served with a little salt as an appetizer.
Fennel is low glycaemic and contains useful vitamins and minerals. One and a half cups (87g) of sliced fennel is a block of carbohydrate. Fennel is currently available in some supermarkets and at the Lower Hutt Saturday Market (I assume also at Wellington Markets). When buying look for round rather than flat bulbs that are white with minimal brown or green on the bulb and inspect the edge of the outer leaves that they are not withered or dry. Small baby fennel growth at the base is a good sign. Often the bulbs come with a little of the feathery fennel leaf growth coming out of the top. This can be chopped and used as a fresh herb.
Contributed by Kevin Bateman