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.
This week’s £5 basket
Cyprus new potatoes (76p per lb — I wanted only 6) £1.26
Bunch leeks 50p
Bowl aubergines (3) £1
Bowl beef tomatoes (4) £1
Avocados (4) £1 (one was eaten before the picture was taken)
The basket this week does not look as bountiful as usual. But the recipe that uses it is perfect finger food for picnics, buffets and barbecues.
Recipe: Stuffed beef tomatoes with guacamole
Serves 2 or 4 if the beef tomatoes are extra big.
Equipment: paring knife, teaspoon, mixing bowl, fork. Wash all vegetables
Preparation: 10 minutes
Ingredients: 2 beef tomatoes, 1 avocado, 1 clove garlic, 1 small onion, pinch of chilli flakes or seeds, 1/2 a lemon, teaspoon chopped herbs of choice (chives, basil, oregano or thyme work well (I’m using chives), an optional extra a splash of Tabasco seasoning. A tasty variation is to mix in a tablespoon of cream cheese. The picture illustrates both choices.
Method: slice the top off the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, core and loose flesh, being careful not to break through the skin. Slice the avocado in half from top to bottom and remove the stone. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove and add to the avocado. Peel and finely chop the onion — depending on the size, half an onion may be enough, add to the mixture. Mash all the ingredients with a fork until well mixed. Add chilli flakes, herbs, lemon juice and seasoning. Keep tasting and adjusting to your palate. Add a splash of Tabasco. At this staged, also add cream cheese, if using. Then fill the tomato shells with the mixture and replace the top. The tomatoes in the picture were large and could be cut in half, top to bottom.
With the remaining food from my basket, I shall boil the new potatoes and serve with butter and mint. The avocados with the tomatoes will be added to salads. I think I’ll stuff the aubergines, first, cooking them whole in the oven so the flesh will be soft and mash easily for mixing. And the leeks I can use with the potatoes to make a soup.
* Two websites have written about this column. Hackney Post has published an interview with Shooey, as has the Food Bankers. Hackney council journalist Marcel Reinard has made a jolly video about markets, including Ridley Road.— Ed.
* Emboldened, coloured words may indicate a hyperlink. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.
Previous articles hyperlinked:
Hackney snackney 3 May 2013; Bell pepper salad 26 April 2013; Gnocchi and tomato sauce with zucchini salad 19 April 2013 Tomato soup with soda bread 12 April 2013; Broccoli mornay 5 April 2013; Easter redemption song 29 March 2013 Less is enough 22 March 2013; A 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 2013; Samphire surprise 8 February 2013; Two dishes from £5 1 February 2013; Ae fond neep 25 January 2013; Cauliflower cheese 18 January 2013; 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; The column sets itself a challenge 15 August 2012