EVERY WEEK I take £5 to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, to spend on seasonal food. On Friday I tell you what I have chosen and publish a seasonal recipe.
As usual, expenditure on any extra ingredients, eg, a pineapple, will be recouped by usage over subsequent weeks. Some of the recipes will be frugal.
They will all be tasty. All will be vegetarian.
NB: this website uses metric measures but a few Ridley Road traders cheekily sell in imperial, some in metric and some also by the bowl.
This week’s £5 basket
Bowl cauliflowers (2) £1
Bowl beetroots (11, weighing about 1,750g) £1
Bowl potatoes (13: 1,700g) £1
Bunch of leeks (6) £1
Equipment: kitchen knife, lidded saucepan, grater, baking dish, colander, wooden spoon. Wash/scrub all vegetables
Recipe: cauliflower cheese. Preparation 12min, cooking 25/35min. Serves 2.
Ingredients: half a cauliflower, cut into small florets; 1 egg, beaten; tablespoon of butter; tablespoon plain flour; 250cc milk; teaspoon mustard powder; 70g strong cheddar cheese, grated; salt and pepper — optional
Method: Set oven to 200C. Cover the base of the saucepan with about 3cm water and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cook/steam for 10 to 12minutes, depending on size of the florets. They should keep their shape and have a slight crunch.
Strain and put in a baking dish and leave to one side, letting all the steam to evaporate, which prevents the finished dish being a little watery when taken from the oven.
Wash saucepan. Put the butter in the saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Remove saucepan from the heat, add the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Return to heat and slowly add the milk, mixing continuously to prevent lumps’ forming.
Stir until the mixture forms a covering to the back of the spoon — about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, the beaten egg and the mustard powder and seasoning if used, then mix/beat together well.
Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes until slightly brown on top. If using two saucepans, you can make the sauce while the cauliflower cook. This saves about 10 minutes overall.
I am serving this dish with roasted beetroots and mashed potatoes.
With the other vegetables in my basket I shall make pickled beetroot to have as a side salad dish. The leeks will make a delicious leek-and-potato soup, the cabbage will be cooked with caraway seeds and apple. I’ll make a vegetable mornay with mustard mashed potatoes and a cabbage-and-cauliflower centre. Apart from the beetroot, all the other vegetables could make a base for a winter curry.
Tip: use a ceramic knife or tear your washed lettuce to prevent the edges’ going brown.
* Previous articles hyperlinked:
A Hackney frittata 11 January 2013
Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012
The shops behind the market stalls 9 November 2012
Chutney 2 November 2012
Piccalilli 26 October 2012
Golden soup 19 October 2012
Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012
Vegetable curry 5 October 2012
Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012
Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012
Bubble and squeak Shooey style, Bakewell pudding 14 September 2012
Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012
Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012;
Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012;
Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012;
A dish to make from a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012