I love the idea of the farmer’s market. To me, there are few things more exciting than getting beautiful ingredients straight from the people that have made or grown them. There is something very romantic about taking your tote bag to the market and intuitively filling it with whatever strikes your fancy, chatting to the stallholders and letting their recommendations inspire your menu for the week. Most days, I just go to the supermarket though. Because it’s convenient, because it’s cheaper, because of a number of other, very unromantic, reasons. But not yesterday. Pim and I are currently catsitting in Amsterdam and yesterday we went to the weekly organic farmer’s market at the Nieuwmarkt. If I’d had more money, or Mary Poppins’ magic carpet bag, I would have been tempted to buy the entire market and take it home with me. Instead, I managed to limit myself to what you see here. Below is a full description of my haul and some ideas on what to do with the different ingredients I bought. Recipe suggestions are welcome!
- A sesame baguette
- A French-style, round wholewheat sourdough loaf
- A German-style, spelt and rye sourdough loaf
- A small piece of La Trappe-Trappist goat’s cheese: a washed rind cheese with a powerful smell, a firm texture and a surprisingly mild goat’s cheese flavour.
- A larger piece of Bastiaansen grass-fed young Dutch cheese.
Fruit and veg
- 4 baby artichokes
- a handful of broad beans
- 2 mild red chillies
- 5 tiny, green heirloom aubergines
- cherry vine tomatoes
- 1 chioggia beet
- We have already polished off the sesame baguette with a bit of butter and the other breads are delicious for breakfast and lunch.
- The same goes for the cheeses. Delicious on their own or on a slice of sourdough.
- The raspberries are gone too: I had them for breakfast today, lightly mashed and topped off with thick sheep’s milk yoghurt.
- I used one of the chillies in a penne arrabiata dish yesterday, but still have to find a way to use the other one.
- The artichokes: I was thinking of roasting them with garlic, herbs and lime juice.
- The chioggia beet: roasted, thinly sliced and topped with balsamic vinegar and feta cheese.
- The cherry tomatoes: so amazingly sweet and juicy, they’re perfect just for snacking.
- The broad beans: raw, dipped in a bit of salt or briefly boiled, dressed with olive oil, garlic, fresh mint and feta.
- The tiny aubergines: I’m still thinking on it. I could use them in a North-African stew or perhaps an Indian curry? Suggestions are welcome!