Sunday, 11 January 2009

Borough Market, below zero

L-R, back row:
Organic chamomile tea bought at Konditor & Cook (Stoney St);
Lemon olive oil from Apulia;
Pomegranate and orange blossom vinegar from Arabica Food & Spice Company;
Parsely and li'l potatoes;

L-R, front row:
Dr Karg spelt muesli crispbread;
Jerusalem artichokes;
Cherry toms;
Pate Moi field mushroom pate;
Morroccan olives;
A Frenchy salad mix;
M&S coffee & walnut cake.

All veg from various Borough stalls.

I knew it was cold yesterday. My toes went numb the minute we opened the door. But had I known it was 2 degrees below zero, I might not have insisted we trek to Borough Market, which I had a sudden yen to do after catching up with last year's Food issue of the New Yorker. (That's November 24. I'm a little behind. In fact, I have issues from Nov. 2007 I haven't tackled yet, but I've read ones in between.)

The word 'intrepid' came to mind as Dan and I shivered toward the train station, and we kept repeating it to each other all day. It really kept us going. Like, noooo, we don't bundle up and stay on the sofa on days like this. We're intrepid! We go to market! And, um, desperately search out hot drinks. All day.

I couldn't make myself take my gloves off to handle a cameraphone properly, so only the spoils of the day are featured above. I'm not sure which is the bigger coup: finding the pomegranate & orange blossom vinegar (dark, tart intensity + mid-tongue tease of floral citrus), or scoring an M&S walnut & coffee cake for just £2.09. I don't know where we're using the lemon oil but it was just so outtasite in the crouton dip taste test, and I was feeling spendy.

Roast potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes with lemon and sage...

Of course, some of our shoppin' came from more prosaic sources, but the spelt muesli crackers are hard to find outside health-food stores. (Actually we had a nice chat with a lady minding the Sharpham Park spelt stall...they get such minor distribution, and it's bizarre, b/c their product is locally, organically grown but on a commercial scale, and spelt is a rising star of a grain...but it is a bit pricey.)

Result, above: the fragrant potato and Jerusalem artichoke bake from the Ottolenghi cookbook. OMG. Note to self: kalamata olives are better in this dish. The salad leaves included the spiciest rocket yet. Dressed with a spinkle of the new vinegar, they were even quite delectable.

...with egg on top! Everything is better with egg on top. Except dessert.

PS: I found a pdf'd recipe of this gorgeous bake online, but no linky, so here is the cut-n-paste of it. It's vegan an' all (til you put an egg on top).

Roast potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes with lemon and sage

Serves 4 – 6
500g Jersey Royals or other small potatoes
500g Jerusalem artichokes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped sage
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon
250g cherry tomatoes
170g Kalamata olives, pitted
2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6. Wash the potatoes well; put them in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until semi-cooked. Drain, cool slightly and then cut each potato in half lengthways. Put them in a large roasting tray.

Wash the Jerusalem artichokes, cut them into slices 5mm thick and add to the potatoes. Add the garlic, olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Mix everything well with your hands and put into the oven.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the lemon and remove the pips. After the vegetables have been roasting for about 30 minutes, add the sliced lemon, stir with a wooden spoon and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Now add the cherry tomatoes and olives, stir well again and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in some of the chopped parsley. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining parsley.


bron said...

You are so right - an egg on top makes anything wonderful. You must have been the other person at Borough Saturday - we went early and it was as empty as I've seen it. And so cold I'm sure the inside of my head froze.

Noël said...

Yes, we got there by 1pm, when the crowd is usually nose-to-shoulder, and had no trouble navigating.

Love that market, wish it wasn't such a trek!

Elizabeth said...

Yum! It all looks so nice and tasty, although the egg thing is very British and still slightly mystifying to me.

I have definitely not been feeling intrepid lately. Although it has been nice and sunny, it has also been -22 here in Montreal. Time for me to hide out indoors with lots of tea and hot cocoa!

Noël said...

Hey Elizabeth! Nice to see you. Wow, at -22, I fear my small store of intrepidness would be rapidly depleted, f'sure. Curl up with that cocoa...