Creaming off a tart from a fiver in Dalston E8

EVERY WEEK I take £5  to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, to spend on seasonal food, obviously not including items likely to be already in a kitchen, such as sauces, oil, herbs and spices. On Friday I tell you what I have chosen and publish a seasonal recipe.

As usual, expenditure on any extra ingredients, eg, flour, 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 basketRidleylogoc

Bag of samphire (1kg) £1.50

Bowl large mushrooms (8) £1

Bunch leeks (6) £1

0.45kg (1lb) sag £1

Bunch parsley 70p

Total £5.20


Equipment: sieve, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, rolling pin, kitchen knife, lidded saucepan, tart dish. (Also called a flan dish, mine is the 25cm size.) Wash all vegetables.

Recipe: Creamy leek tart. Serves 2 for 2 meals or 4  if  friends arrive. Preparation: 20 minutes, plus chilling time, cooking: 55 minutes. Oven 200C

Ingredientspastry: 250g plain flour, pinch salt, 125g fat cut into small pieces, 1 egg, teaspoon of iced water; tart: leeks sliced, 25g fat, 30ml water, seasoning, 3 egg yolks, 150ml crème fresh, grated nutmeg

Method: to make the pastry, sift flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the fat until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg and bind together if still a little dry add the water. Sprinkle the work surface with flour and gently knead until the mixture is smooth. Wrap in clingfilm or place in a small bowl and cover with a plate and put in the fridge to rest it. Resting pastry stops it from shrinking during cooking. 

Now prepare the filling for the pastry. Melt the fat in the saucepan and add the leeks, making sure they are covered in the melted fat and gently cook the leeks for 10 minutes. Add the water and cover and cook gently for 10 mins or until the leeks are soft but not brown. Season and leave to cool.

Grease the pie dish. Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out to fit the pie dish. Chill again for 10 mins. Then prick the base with a fork. Beat the eggs and crème fresh adding a little nutmeg. Spread the leeks in the pastry and pour over the egg mixture. Bake at 200c for 15 mins, reduce the oven setting to 190C and bake for another 20 mins. Serve hot or cold.

The leftover egg whites can be used to make meringues. 

With the remaining food from my basket I shall roast mushrooms in garlic and lemon zest. The sag will be part of a curry, the leeks added to a soup and the parsley used in a tabbouleh with lots of lemon juice, oil and onion.

Tip: The egg stall, which is on the railway side at the junction with Colvestone Crescent, sells organic free-range eggs that cost less than those at nearby supermarkets. His free-range eggs sell out more quickly than his battery-farmed eggs. The stall-holder is grateful for empty egg cartons, no matter their label or origin.

Flush with mush: much more for just over £5 in the market
Flush with mush: mushroom and other tasty vegetables for just over £5 in the street market

Previous articles hyperlinked:

Market force: Larry Julian, chairman of Ridley Road Traders' Association
Market force: Larry Julian, chairman of Ridley Road Traders’ Association

Polenta verde and sauté mushrooms 8 March 2013;

Caribeasy 29 February 2013;

Feeling fruity 22February 2013;

Kashmir delight 15 February 2013 ;

Samphire surprise 8 February 2013;

Two dishes from £5 1 February 2013;

Ae fond neep 25 January 2013;

Cauliflower cheese 18 January 2013;

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 2012Vegetable curry 5 October 2012Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012; Bubble and squeak Shooey style and Bakewell pudding 14 September 2012;RidleyRd201012

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;

From a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012

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