Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fabulous produce from Takapuna markets

I always thought that the Takapuna market was a bit junky, until I read in cuisine about a stall where Natalia Schamroth gets organic baby leeks from. As soon as I read that I made it my mission to go early the next Sunday morning and have been going almost every second week since then. I tend to go about 7am before I come home and go for my run, as it is not so busy then and I get first pick at the produce available. The market is held every Sunday morning in the car park on Anzac St.

I tend to stick with the organic produce stalls, although there are lots of market gardeners there as well. I have my 4 favourite stalls and always go to these, maybe picking up something else of interest along the way. Buying at the market means that we tend to eat more in season, which is something I am becoming increasingly conscious of.

I love the baby leeks, baby sweet kumara, rainbow chard and smoked garlic that are not readily available from my usual fruit and vegetable shop. This week I got some even more exciting things – some fabulous home made Turkish bread, garlic shoots – which apparently you use in the same way that you use garlic, some sweet peas for the vase I have on the window by my kitchen sink and some fennel which I used on Sunday night in a dish with cannelini beans served with fish and tapenade.

Last night for dinner I made a recipe from Taste magazine Рfree range chicken breasts baked on a rice pilaf with smoked paprika, green olives and kidney beans. Honestly, I would only buy free range chicken now Рit tastes so much better and is so tender!! Although, in saying that, I still find chicken breast a bit bland. I served it with my rainbow chard from the market, cooked my favourite way Рlightly saut̩ed in a pan with some garlic until just wilted. It was yummy actually - I really enjoyed the smokiness of the smoked paprika as a contrast to the saltines of the olives!

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