How to turn a fiver into a Hackney frittata

Ridleydish110113e sweet potato frittata

RidleylogocEVERY 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 okra £1

Bowl red bell peppers (6) £1

Bowl sweet potatoes £1. Too many to count (TMTC) because this batch is small

Bowl of onions £1 TMTC

7 big passion fruits £1

Total £5


Recipe: sweet potato frittata,  10 minutes preparation, 25 to 30min cooking, serves 2

Equipment: kitchen knife, paring knife, lidded saucepan and a lidded frying pan (main picture), medium-size bowl and whisk/fork. Wash/scrub all vegetables

Ingredients: 1 onion peeled and finely chopped, 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces, 1 red pepper finally chopped, oil for frying, 6 eggs, 1 teaspoon of butter, salt and pepper. If the sweet potatoes are big, about 500g each, use only half of one.

Method: Heat the oil in the frying pan, then add the chopped onion and cook until soft and transparentabout 5 minutes. Fill the saucepan with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Add the chopped sweet potato, cook for 8 to10 minutes until soft. Drain the potatoes but leave in the pan with the lid off. When the onions are soft, add the red pepper, and cook until also soft, for about another 5 minutes. 

Remove from the frying pan and put in the saucepan with the cooling sweet potatoes. Crack and put the eggs into the bowl and beat until light and frothy. Add seasoning.

Melt the butter in the frying pan and add the beaten eggs. Place all the other ingredients evenly over the top of the eggs. Cover the frying pan and cook gently for 3/4 minutes. Remove lid and place the pan under the grill to cook the top. Watch until slightly browned.

Eat hot or cold with a spinach-and-beetroot salad dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, pomegranate seeds and toasted (dry-fried) sunflower seeds.   

With the remaining vegetables in my basket I shall make a kind of gumbo soup, using the okra and sweet potato. I’ll stuff the peppers with the onions and some rice and I’ll also roast some of the sweet potatoes. The passion fruits — ah, what a luxury fruit — will be eaten by themselves perhaps used to decorate a pavlova or spread over some vanilla ice cream.

Now look at what I missed on a stall opposite Ridley Road Market Bar/Wu’s at Ridley: the fabled cep mushrooms (boletus/porcini). This may seem an unconvincing excuse, but I went to market early this week, too early for the mush, it seems. Many thanks to the bar’s Kerry Maisey for the mouth-watering pic.Ceps in Ridley Rd market Lon E8 Jan 2013  © Kerry Maisey

* Previous articles hyperlinked:

Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012 

The shops behind the market stalls 

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 and 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;

dish to make from a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012

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