Drop everything: the Alphonso drops into Dalston

Ridley310513baskB: Hey, mango! Always a highlight of the market spring/summer fruit season in Ridley Road, Dalston © david.altheer@gmail.com

RidleylogonewEVERY 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. All will be tasty.

* Two websites have written about the column this year. Hackney Post has published an interview with Shooey, as has the Food Bankers. Hackney journalist Marcel Reinard has made a jolly video about markets, including Ridley Road. — Ed.

This week’s £5 basket

Box of Alphonso mangoes £5

Total £5

It was a little late in the afternoon when I visited Ridley Road this week and, walking past the stalls, I thought the cherries looked tempting and would make a lovely clafoutis. Further along the road was a variety of plums, fresh ginger, spring onions and a mixed selection of peppers. All very tempting until I saw the Alphonso mangoes. Alphonsos are juicy and have a distinctive scent, a perfect flesh consistency and a flavour that lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. Yes, this week I spent my budget on one fruit — but what a fruit.

The season for Alphonso mangoes is short so if you can, try to taste them when you see them on sale. Perhaps I was lucky because when I saw them the label stated £7.50 but the stall-holder must have read my mind because he said I could have them for £5.

As for meals, no recipe this week because I shall be using up items bought in the last few weeks that have gathered in the bottom shelf of my vegetable rack. I’ll be hoping that no one at my dinner table notices the hotchpotch collection.

Food of love: a market display
Food of love: market display on a sunny day

Previous articles hyperlinked: Aubergine salad 24 May 2013; Asparagus with hollandaise 17 May 2013Stuffed beef tomatoes with guacamole 10 May 2013Hackney snackney 3 May 2013Bell pepper salad 26 April 2013Gnocchi and tomato sauce with zucchini salad  19 April 2013 Tomato soup with soda bread 12 April 2013Broccoli mornay 5 April 2013Easter redemption song 29 March 2013 Less  is enough 22 March 2013A tart in the mart 15 March 2013; Polenta verde and sauté mushrooms 8 March 2013; Caribeasy 29 February 2013; Feeling fruity 22February 2013; Kashmir delight 15 February 2013Samphire surprise 8 February 2013Two dishes from £5 1 February 2013Ae fond neep 25 January 2013Cauliflower cheese 18 January 2013Hackney frittata 11 January 2013;  Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012The shops behind the market stalls 9 November 2012Chutney 2 November 2012;  Piccalilli 26 October 2012Golden soup 19 October 2012Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012Vegetable curry 5 October 2012;Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012Bubble and squeak Shooey styleBakewell pudding 14 September 2012Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012The column sets itself a challenge 15 August 2012

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