Today for me at the market was probably the first day where i really noticed a difference in the variety of fresh produce.  I was overwhelmed with the array of beautiful spring vegetables.  Nigel from Brydone Organics is such a wicked grower,  he supplied me with so many delicious Jersey Benne Potatoes.  Sue from Waitaki supplied me with her perfectly cured bacon, and to top it off i then had the immense pleasure of podding fresh peas.  That was just the tip of the vegetable pile today. 
The market from now on will get more and more varieties of produce, the first of the seasons cherries and strawberries were for sale in quite a few stalls today.  Yum, Yum Yum!!

Thanks for your support with my cookbook, (only $10.00)  i hope it is clarifyingng when produce will be coming into the market and i hope you enjoy not only eating the dishes, but don't forget to enjoy making them as well.
I am writing volume 2 as we speak!!

johnny - Organic land

life at the market


Serves 6

900g young green gooseberries, topped and tailed
110g caster sugar
2 Tablespoon elderflower cordial (recipe on my blog)
For the topping
110g ice cold butter, cut into pieces
170ml buttermilk or fresh milk
1 heaped teaspoon sugar
275g flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 220`C
You will need a baking dish 23cm in diameter and 6 cm deep

All you do is arrange the fruit, caster sugar and elderflower cordial in the baking dish, then get on with the topping.
Place the sifted flour, salt, baking powder and butter (first cut into chunks) into the goblet of a food processor. Then switch on and give it a pulse (on/off) action several times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then pour in the buttermilk and switch on again briefly until you have a thick, very sticky dough.
Now spoon tablespoons of the mixture over the fruit – the more haphazardly you do this, the better. Lastly sprinkle the sugar over the top of the dough, then pop the dish on to a high shelf in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is a crusty golden brown. Serve it warm from the oven with (if you want a real treat) with a good quality ice cream. Or try homemade crème fraiche.

Serves 6

250g fresh peas or French beans
250g new season potatoes - jersey benne
1 lettuce - cos, romaine or iceburg
1 red onion, finely sliced
150ml crème fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Pod the peas and cook in the peas and potatoes in separate pans of salted boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. Cut into small pieces. Separate the lettuce and wash them and drain well. Shred finely. Add the lettuce to the peas, potatoes, red onion and stir in the crème fraiche and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and place onto a serving plate and enjoy.

Serves 4

500g carrots
30g butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
Sprig of fresh thyme
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly

Peel and trim the carrots, if the odd carrot is larger than the rest cut into half length ways to even the size. Put them in a fairly large pan. Add the butter, salt, sugar, thyme and enough water to just cover them. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Continue cooking, shaking the pan every few minutes, until the cooking liquor is completely reduced and the carrots are coated in a shiny glaze. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Serves 6

4 slices good quality bacon, rind removed and dice
20g butter
700g carrots, peeled or scraped and sliced
500ml any stock
Sprig of thyme, bay leaf, parsley
Generous crack of pepper

Fry the diced bacon in butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the carrots, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook gently until the carrots are very tender, 15- 20 minutes depending on their size. Serve.

Serves 6

40g butter
1 onion, sliced
1 kg fresh shelled peas
300g fresh puhoe, coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onions, cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the peas, puhoe, sugar and season. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.

This is a fresh dip to serve with a selection of lovely spring vegetables

200 ml natural yoghurt
1-2 handfuls of fresh mint, leaves picked from stalk
2 handfuls of fresh podded peas
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
Tiny amount of wasabi paste (optional)

Whiz the yoghurt and mint up in a food processor for halt a minute or so. Add the peas and Parmesan and whiz again - the peas will break down and the yoghurt will become green. Put into a bowl, correcting the seasoning with salt and pepper, lemon juice and wasabi paste if using. Stir well and chill until required.