Aaron and myself (alison) taking on the 'mighty' cheese roll
by the way i won!!!!

Good morning, well not only do we have the pleasure of bountiful produce and traceable meats, but we also have the pleasure of Adventure Aaron http:/adventureaaron.com/catchandcook/ for a few hours who will be challenging me to non-other than 'the mighty cheese roll'.  He may of had to milk the cow to gather his raw materials to make his cheese but hey that's only a minor part in the process - right?

Anyway this is a wonderful opportunity for our fantastic market and Dunedin to showcase how wonderfully diverse, vibrant and quite simply how fantastic it is.  Bring on the cheese roll challenge!!!

As usual i have so much wonderful produce to play with - vension from Leckies, beetroot from Youngs, spinach from Brydone, blackberries from Ettrick and apricots from Caithness Orchard.  I will also have cheese from Evansdale which will be incorporated into the 'Market' version of the Mighty Cheese Roll.

thanks Simon for the pictures!!!


This salad adds a wonderful change to the usual accompaniments served alongside your meal. It goes particularly well with meat.

3 raw beetroot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp red wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar
50g butter

1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp dijon or grain mustard
½ tsp caraway seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream to serve (optional)
Chopped chives (optional)

Heat a large fry pan up to medium heat. Add the oil and butter and heat until the butter has melted; add the caraway seeds, onion and beetroot and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the vinegar, honey and mustard, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with sour cream on top and chopped chives.

VENISON BURGERS – This is one of the few times I am not actually making the burgers from scratch – Leckies Butchers have done the hard work for me. They are made with 100% venison and then minced on site, lightly seasoned and perhaps a few secret “trade” spices and that is it! I will be simply cooking them and serving them alongside the warm beetroot salad or perhaps some wilted garlicky spinach….

THE MIGHTY CHEESE ROLL – there are thousands of recipes for the “mighty” cheese roll and who am I to change them – however I do like to mix it up a little and for the “market” version I will be adding the delicious Farmhouse cheese from Evansdale.

300g grated farmhouse cheese
200g grated cheddar or cheese of your choice
4 spring onions, finely chopped OR handful fresh chives finely snipped
1 tin evaporated milk
1 tsp mustard powder or 1 tsp mustard
¼ cup cream
Few grinds freshly ground pepper
1 loaf either sandwich sliced bread or you can use long-cut sandwich cut bread

Heat evaporated milk and cream together until comes to boil, remove from heat and add cheese, mustard and pepper. Mix well to melt the cheese and to make it spreadable. Add the spring onion or chives and check consistency – if too thick add a little more cream to make it spreadable!

Cool a little before spreading on to bread.

You can remove the crusts if you desire!

Spread enough mixture on the surface of a slice of bread so it generously covers; however don’t think more is necessarily better as they have a tendency to ooze out when cooked. I allow anywhere from 3-5mm round the edge of the bread to allow when rolling.

Roll one edge of the bread over and roll carefully but firmly until it meets the opposite end. Press lightly to seal. Repeat until all the mixture if finished.

Preheat the grill on your oven to medium-hot and grill the cheese rolls so they are golden on all sides, remove and generously spread butter over them. Enjoy!

SIMPLY COOKED SPINACH - When I cook spinach at home 9 times out of 10 I will always cook it this way and sometimes with a pinch or two of dried chilli flakes. When I was taught to cook spinach like this it was an absolute revelation and it will convert even the most weary spinach eater!

2 large bunches of spinach
Olive oil, extra virgin
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

As with most greens you need to wash spinach well – actually I usually give it a good soak in cold water, drain and soak again for a couple minutes. Drain well.

Remove any tough stalks, usually from the large leaves by simply holding the stalk in one hand and firmly pulling the leaf along it. You should end up with just the leaf!

Heat a large fry pan up to hot, add the olive oil and garlic, cook the garlic until it starts to go a light brown colour – you will notice a nutty smell coming from the pan (this is good, it is coming from the garlic). Carefully add the spinach (be careful it splutters a lot) season with salt and freshly ground pepper toss once or twice and you will notice that the spinach has wilted. Take it off the heat drain off any excess moisture and serve with anything you desire.

POACHED APRICOTS – this is a basic recipe for poaching any fruit, always ensure you have the fruit submerged in syrup and always wash the fruit beforehand. You will find peaches will peel easily after poaching, apricots and netarines not necessary whereas plum skins usually slip off through cooking. You can poach varieties of fruit one after the other in the same syrup it will add a deeper more complex flavour.

poached apricots and greengages thanks to Cathiness Orchard

4-6 stone fruit

Basic poaching syrup
330g white sugar
750ml hot water

Flavouring – optional extras
Vanilla bean, citrus peel, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick or star anise, fresh lemon verbena leaf or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Put the sugar and water (and your choice of flavourings) into a heavy-based pot and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer syrup gently for 3-4 minutes then carefully add the fruit.

Cut a piece of baking paper to snuggly fit the inside of the pot. Press down to sit lightly on the surface of the syrup. Poach the fruit until just tender – roughly 3-6 minutes depending on size, ripeness and variety of fruit. Remove from syrup with slotted spoon if wanting to keep fruit simply cool in syrup and store in fridge.

Makes 30

1 punnet fresh blackberries
250g flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
50g sugar
75g butter
300 ml buttermilk
Cooking oil
1 lemon – zest
Additional 50g sugar

Place large cast-iron or heavy-based fry pan on to medium heat.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together into a medium size bowl, rub in the butter with your fingertips until you have coarse breadcrumbs, add the sugar and mix well.
Add the black berries and buttermilk and mix together until just combined.
Lightly brush the pan with oil. Drop spoonful’s of batter into the pan allowing space between for spreading. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, turn over and cook through – 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack covered with a clean cloth and repeat process with remaining batter.
Mix together the sugar and lemon zest and either sprinkle onto of drop scones or serve in a dipping bowl and dip you warm scones into the citrusy sugar.

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their outstanding produce

Judge Rock Wines - thanks so much for always suppling us with outstanding wines to accompay our many dishes

Caithness Orchard – apricots

Leckies Butchery – venison patties

Sam Young Growers – beetroot

Ettrick Gardens – Black berries

Evansdale Cheese - cheese