EVERY WEEK I take £5 to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, 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. Some of the recipes will be frugal. They will all be vegetarian and they will be tasty.
This week’s £5 basket, pictured below
Bunch white asparagus 75p; 2 cauliflowers £1; bowl orange peppers (6) £1; bowl aubergines (2) £1; 454g mushrooms 30p; bowl bananas 50p; 10 peaches £1… total £5.55
Last week I underspent by 40p, which makes buying the 10 peaches allowable. [Theoretically — Ed.]
This week’s recipe: Vegetable kebabs and fresh peaches. Serves 2
Equipment — kebabs: kitchen knife, tablespoon, teaspoon, bowl, small wooden skewers soaked in water beforehand to prevent catching fire, grill, griddle or BBQ. Equipment — peaches: bowl, kitchen knife, kettle. Wash all vegetables and fruit.
Preparation: kebabs 15 minutes, marinating minimum 45 mins, cooking 10 minutes.
Ingredients: All vegetables to be cut into bite-size pieces. Half an aubergine, I pepper, handful mushrooms. Marinade: 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup (or Shoyu sauce), juice of half a lemon, pinch of both chilli flakes or seeds and smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of ready-made mustard, herbs of choice (I’m using rosemary) and seasoning. Do not add salt if using Shoyu. The secret of a good kebab is in how long the ingredients stand in the marinade. The longer the better. Always prepare the marinade and vegetables before the salads and desserts so the vegetables have the longest possible time absorbing the marinade flavours.
I have added a small courgette from my allotment. If you have any cherry tomatoes or an onion these can be included.
Method — kebabs: The photograph may make this recipe look simple, but it’s not that easy. Yet it’s not truly difficult.
Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add all the chopped vegetables and stir to cover each piece in the marinade. Stir every 10 minutes or so to keep the bite-size vegetables covered in the marinade. I kept my vegetables in the marinade for 90 minutes. Put alternative pieces of vegetables on a skewer until full. Heat grill or other cooking method to hot. Place the vegetables to cook, turning each skewer until all sides are soft and a little charred.
If there is some marinade left in the bowl, use a tablespoon to carefully pour it over the kebabs during cooking.
Serve with salads. I’m serving my kebabs on a bed of quinoa salad. Each bite of the kebab will have a different sensation in the mouth: of chilli or rosemary or of lemon or will have the tartness of the pomegranate syrup. And all with a hint of smokey paprika.
Ingredients — peaches: 2 peaches. Have some water boiling.
Method — peaches: Gently make a cut — say, 2cm long — in the skin of the peaches and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the peaches and leave for 10 minutes. This makes peeling the skin off the peaches easy and the warm water enhances their flavour. Peel all the skin from the peaches and cut in half. Remove the stone and cut the fruit into eighths.
I enjoy peaches served this way by themselves; others may prefer them served with cream or crème fresh.
With the remaining food in my basket I shall make a banana loaf — ideal as a picnic cake. See my previous recipes for an aubergine lime dish (24 August 2013) and baba ghanoush (29 March 2013). I’ll also make stuffed peppers (22 March 2013) using millet rather than couscous. The mushrooms will be fried with garlic and butter and served on toast for a light but tasty lunch. The white asparagus I have to think about because I’ve never previously cooked it.
Tip: Two costermongers in Ridley Road who display their vegetables on a traditional trolley sell locally grown produce from cottage gardeners — growers with allotments or a good-size garden in the borough. On these stalls you can find blackcurrants, gooseberries and small bunches of herbs. The herbs are usually thyme, rosemary or mint. So food miles are minimal. And Ridley Road is not as pricey as the very different Broadway Market E8 4PH, which is famous for foodie reasons, not just for luring hipsters.
* Other websites have written about this column, among them Hackney Post, which has published an interview with Shooey, as has the Food Bankers. Hackney council journalist Marcel Reinard has made a video about markets, including Ridley Road.
* Emboldened or tinted words may indicate a hyperlink, a special service for Loving Dalston readers who may want to look further into a topic. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.
*Previous articles hyperlinked: Potato salad with cumin seeds 19 July 2013; Fruit sticks 12 July 2013; Asparagus, onion and tomato tartlets 5 July 2013; Sparkling elderflower and fritters 28 June 2013; Beetroot quinoa salad 21 June 2013; Lemon couscous with spicy mushrooms 14 June 2013; Lurgied 7 June 2013; At last, the Alphonso 31 May 2013; Aubergine salad 24 May 2013; Asparagus with hollandaise 17 May 2013; Stuffed beef tomatoes with guacamole 10 May 2013; 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