Weekly Farmers’ Market Shop and Cook

Jun 23, 2012 by

Shop and eat seasonal is a good mantra. However, it’s very easy now in our global consumer society to eat stuff flown half way around the world, completely out of season and generally lacking taste. How many times have I fallen for a bargain only for it to be a waste of money? Recently I bought plums on special offer from a supermarket – I should have known better as their weekly fruit and veg specials are generally out of season and unripe.  I left them in a fruit bowl with bananas for ages and they just started to go bad!

I had wood pigeon a friend had shot in the freezer and wanted to use it up as it was beginning to get freezer burn.  So wood pigeon defrosted; I had to decide how to cook it and what to cook with it.  There was some cooked beetroot in the fridge so that and the plums were decided on.

The recipe for the plum and beetroot sauce went something like this – with a fair bit of adjustment as I put in far too much red wine vinegar and had to go to all sorts of lengths to rescue it.

10 plums (mine were small unripe little bullets)
1 medium cooked beetroot diced
1 teaspoon muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine
1 teaspoon honey
Some grated ginger, salt and pepper and 1 star anise.

All above were cooked down and blended.  Adjust seasoning and sweetness to your taste.

I rubbed the wood pigeon with rape seed oil, seasoned and wrapped in Pancetta and roasted in a preheated oven on a bed of sliced red onion and fresh thyme for 30 minutes, which left it quite pink.  Leave another 10 minutes if you want it – to my mind – overcooked!

I bought a lovely celery in the farmers’ market recently so far removed from those anaemic ones you buy in the supermarket with their leaves removed.   How is it that in France or Spain supermarkets sell fruit and vegetables that look like you would want to eat them while here we get the most dreadful specimens?  The leaves are really tasty too and it’s a shame to waste them so I made soup with them.

Celery Soup
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
bunch fresh thyme and parsley chopped
I medium potato
500 ml chicken stock
The leaves from a head of celery

Fry off the veg and roughly chop the leaves from the celery head and add.  Season, add stock and simmer for 20 mins.  Blend smooth.


 I also made some apricot jam

click on the link for the recipe – it’s delicious!

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