How to shop the market like a pro

Meggs Hannes lives and breathes local food by running two of Victoria’s finest farmers’ markets – Lancefield and Woodend.

Here’s her top five picks for spring produce and how to cook with them:

  1. Garlic shoots (scapes)
    What to look for: Curly stalks as they will not be chewy and keep them in a paper bag in the fridge.
    Cooking ideas: Lamb and beef marinades, Moroccan spiced dishes, pureed with olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan to make a simple spring pesto.
  2. Asparagus
    What to look for: Thin, crisp spears that are vibrant in colour
    Cooking ideas: Add to risottos, as a simple side dish to your favourite meat cut, team with broad beans and young artichokes for a warm salad.
  3. Broad beans
    What to look for: Pods smaller than your little finger as that means the beans inside will be bright green and won't need the dreaded 'double peeling'.
    Cooking ideas:  Add blanched to salads, or for something visual, pair them up with violets from the garden for a splash of colour.
  4. Globe artichokes
    What to look for: Fairly tight leaves with a slight 'bloom'. Eat them the day of purchase as they oxidise quickly.
    Cooking ideas: Very popular in Italian cooking, they do best with as little handling and cooking as possible - ask your farmer how they like to prepare them!
  5. Greens: lettuce, chard, dandelion and nettle
    What to look for: Consider trying some you have never eaten before, like dandelion or mibuna - the bitter greens are great for your health, stimulate the digestion and are also very tasty!
    Cooking ideas: There are many different varieties of salad greens available at farmers' markets. Amaranth, nettle, chard and kale can all be cooked in similar ways; blanched, drained well and added to a pie with beaten free-range eggs, pure cream, herbs (try chervil or dill) and some crumbled feta.

You might also like

Related Events


An Evening Inspired by Le Bernardin

Iconic NY cuisine in Melbourne

Pascale Bar and Grill, Melbourne

$78 – $123


A Latin-American Sunday lunch

Mamasita, Melbourne


Fancy Hank's Pastrami on Rye

Fancy Hank's, Melbourne


The New York Classic

Melbourne's favourite Argentinian steak house takes a trip to the Big Apple

San Telmo, Melbourne