(also, so much dark, dark, photography with copious use of flash – we woke up this morning to discover that they were replacing the power lines outside our house. It turns out that our house is quite dark on a grey winter’s day when you can’t switch on the lights…)
Today, my favourite Italian stall holders were here again, outdoing themselves in the ‘Vegetables Catherine Has Never Cooked With’ department. Wild greens are one of those foods which are supposed to be really good for you, and really frugal… though the frugality requires one actually knowing what one is looking for. Since I am never totally sure that a dandelion green is a dandelion green until it produces a dandelion (at which point, I understand, one is not supposed to eat them anyway), and I don’t really want to accidentally feed Andrew or myself either grass or something poisonous, I’ve never dared hunt my own greens.
My lovely Italian lady had three kinds! Cima (which I think might be turnip greens), mustard greens, and something else which I shamefully cannot remember the name of. Not only that, but she had cardoons again, and the last of the peppers and garlic. The garlic was especially exciting, because she had plaited it together in the way you see in cookbooks or restaurant photos but never actually in real life.
The next stall along had mushrooms, something I’ve never seen at the market before. I already have visions of a wonderful meal later this week: a grilled sourdough bread sandwich topped with grilled mushroom, roasted peppers, mozzarella, and maybe a tomato or some greens.
My friendly potato man could not recommend purple potatoes this week – apparently they are getting a bit past it – but he gave me some lovely white potatoes (King Edward, maybe?), and he did have purple cauliflower!
It’s well known that I can’t resist colourful carrots. They look so pretty! Sadly, the fractal broccoli was not looking so cheery this week… and I probably have enough brassicas for now anyway. But there was the most gorgeous cheese stall opposite – one I haven’t seen before. I bought a whole bucket of her beautiful feta, all in half moons. And I’m afraid that so far I’ve only photographed the bucket – I didn’t want to leave the feta uncovered.
The apple man told me that Red Delicious were the best apples around this week. I don’t have concrete plans for them, but I suspect apple crumble is in our future. And I can never resist the egg man (as opposed to the walrus), or the plain sourdough bread, especially when I know that we have no electricity. And the pasta lady was back, so some basil and pepper pasta was clearly necessary.
Of course, the really fun part is working out what to do with all of this bounty. Fortunately, I do have one or two ideas…