A Winter Salad for #Let’s Lunch
It’s winter in Sydney and, for me, the markets are at their peak. It needs to be an early Saturday start to get a good parking spot and first dibs at the best produce. Eveleigh Market, in the Sydney suburb of Darlington (right next to Sydney Uni and Redfern Station) is my favourite.
I am lured by the groaning stalls fully laden with mountains of organic brussels sprouts (one of my many food loves), huge bunches of beetroot (beet), stacks of cavolo nero, and millions of mushrooms.
But each visit must start with breakfast and coffee. If I am not in a calorie counting mood, my breakfast choice will be the ‘Crooked Madam’ made by the delightful Alex Herbert at the Bird Cow Fish stall. Think buttered sourdough sandwich grilled to golden goodness filled with ham, gruyere cheese, egg , Dijon and/or BBQ sauce. Crrrrrunchy deliciousness all the way. She is second on the left as you enter the main market and has an irresistible array of other goodies including creamy hot porridge, muffins, tarts and pastries.
But if it is a more calorie-careful weekend, I’ll head to Kylie Kwong’s stall (across the way, a couple of stalls up) and order the Steamed Dumplings in Ginger and Tamari – think the softest, slipperiest and silkiest Chinese steamed dumplings in an amazing broth full of flavour and tang. Slurpingly good!
Once the breakfast is done, it is on to the flowers – and this month I am excited by the new season blossom with tiny pink and white flowering buds. I always visit the Jollie stall to buy Cooper our wonder dog a bag or two of their really really fabulous dog treats.
Then it’s on to the outstanding organic eggs from ‘Egganic‘ which have the most vibrant yellow yolks and would remind you of the eggs you used to eat from a neighbour’s farm, if you actually did have a neighbour who had a farm. Make sure you get in early, they go fast.
I won’t ever leave without buying a wholemeal miche or soy linseed bread from Sonoma bakery - a couple of my favourite loaves at the moment. And my last stop is always to pick up some Country Valley milk and the newest addition to my market ‘must-haves’, a few blocks of the outstanding Pepe Saya butter.
Getting back to the main plot here, one reason I go to the market is actually to buy brussels sprouts from the organic farmer on the corner, just as you enter the market. Did you know this is how they grow? On the stalk!
My offering for #LetsLunch this month is a winter salad, inspired by these awesome Brussels sprouts. I’ve added roasted beetroot (beet) and eschallots, broad (fava) beans, toasted walnuts, sourdough toasts with goats cheese tossed with rocket (arugula) leaves and raddichio. My family gave it the thumbs up.
3 large beetroot (beet), peeled and quartered
2 handfuls French eschallots
1 large handful broad (fava) beans, podded
2 handfuls Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and halved
1/4 sourdough baguette, thinly sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted
1 log goats cheese (we love Meredith dairy)
1 handful walnuts, toasted quickly in a hot pan
2 handfuls rocket (arugula) leaves
1/2 radicchio, roughly chopped
Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt flakes
Pour boiling water over the eschallots and allow to cool. Peel with a sharp knife, keeping them whole if possible. Drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast at 200 C (400 F) until golden, tossing from time to time. Toss the beetroot with a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, tossing from time to time, and then covered with foil for another 20 minutes or so until the wedges are cooked through. In a really hot frypan (skillet), toss the brussels with a splash of olive oil and salt until the sides start to get charred. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for around 10 minutes until just cooked. Set aside.
Boil the podded broad beans in salted water for a couple of minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and slip out of their skins. Dress with a little olive oil and salt.
In a medium sized salad bowl, toss the fresh rocket and radicchio leaves with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar and then season to taste.Add the beetroot, escallots, brussels, broadbeans and walnuts. Drizzle more olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season to taste and toss gently.
When ready to serve, spread the goats cheese on the toasts and place them in a hot oven for 5 minutes until the cheese is a little bubbly. Place the toasts in the salad and serve immediately.
Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join the monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people (who just love cooking) from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. A list and link to all posts will be added to this page as they come in, so please check back
Annabelle‘s Mixed Berry Shortcakes at Glass of Fancy
Charissa‘s Curried Roasted Cheddar Cheese Cauliflower Soup, Gluten-Free at Zest Bakery
Cheryl’s Summery Mexican Chicken Stew at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Grace‘s Yellow Watermelon with Red Chile at HapaMama
Joe‘s Peach Jam with Lemon Basil at Joe Yonan
Juliana‘s View from Les Halles Farmers Market at Chicken Scrawlings
Linda‘s Farmers’ Market Fruit Galette at Spicebox Travels
Linda‘s Zucchini or Cucumber Quick Pickles at Free Range Cookies
Lisa‘s Eveleigh Farmers’ Market (in Australia!) Winter Salad at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Lucy‘s Sweet Auburn Curb Market (in Atlanta!) Tomato Gravy at A Cook and Her Books
Patricia‘s Kim-Chi-Style Corn at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook
Renee‘s Sweet and Sour Salad at My Kitchen and I