Monday, June 18, 2018

London's Borough Market + Plan Zheroes Charity

London's oldest and most famous food market, Borough Market is a food lovers paradise with a mouthwatering range of fresh food stalls under its Dickensian wrought-iron roof. Known in its heyday as London's Larder, the market has been a part of London's food culture since the 13th-century and has existed at its current location since 1755 — there was even a market here in Southwark at the time of the Roman conquest in the 5th century. Located on Borough High Street on the southern end of London Bridge, the Market draws over 70 organic farmers, world class bakers, artisan producers, and gourmet food importers from all over the world, in addition to celebrated local favourites, Neal's Yard Dairy, Monmouth Coffee, Mrs King's Melton Mowbray Pork Pies plus a great selection of restaurants such as Elliot's, Roast, Padella and the original Wright Brothers. 

With traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world, its riot of colourful produce and mouthwatering aromas from a warren of food stalls from Indian and Ethiopian to Thai or Caribbean soul food, wandering through the sights and smells of Borough Market is always a highlight of every trip to London. It's also a highlight in the lives of some people who are less fortunate. Last year, Borough Market traders, in partnership with the Plan Zheroes charity and Better Bankside bikes, who supply cargo bikes to deliver the food to charities, rescued over 29 tonnes of perfectly good food that would otherwise have been thrown in the bin — providing an impressive 58,000 meals to 33 charities working with the homeless, the elderly and people with mental health issues across London. What an inspiration.

Picture perfect figs from 'Turnips' run by Fred and Caroline Foster at Borough Market

Gorgeous artichokes

Crazy Romanesco Cauliflower 

Curly Radicchio Tardivo

Plump white English asparagus

Turnips baskets of mixed mushrooms 

Pink Oyster Mushrooms!

Fresh Sea Urchin

Natural Oak Smoked Whitby Kippers, the perfect partner with scrambled eggs on a Sunday morning

With some of the best coffee in London, Monmouth Coffee is always bustling

There is no better place to buy cheese in London than at Neal’s Yard in Borough Market

London's foremost cheese store, I started coming to Neal's Yard when we first moved to London in 1979 and still make a beeline for it when we go to Borough Market

Striking up a wonderful conversation with the manager, he gave us tasting samples 
of about ten cheeses, all of which were absolutely outstanding

Walking into Neal's Yard is always inspirational, with the most spectacular cheeses on display and all at their peak - it's hard not to take one of everything

Quince pastes are an ideal partner with some cheeses

Sophie, co-owner and stall manager of Olivier's Bakery at Borough Market

Cheese and Olive Sticks from 'Bread Ahead Bakery' in Borough Market, works with the amazing charity planZheroes which helps get their leftover bread to the people in London who need it

100% Vegan 'Big V Facon Cheeseburger' with house tomato relish, house burger sauce, 
pickles red onion, vegan cheddar and house maple facon

Gujarati Rasoi's Onion Bhaji

'The French Comté' selling fine French cheese and charcuterie

Little tastes of Comté Marcel Petit cheese 

Hand Gathered Shetland Mussels Marinière for modules on-the-go

Bomba Seafood Paella just starting to be prepared

Every Wednesday and Saturday, volunteers from charity Plan Zheroes arrive at Borough Market to collect surplus food from traders so that it can be turned into meals and given for those who need it

Coronation Cauliflower
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Jenny Chandler, Borough Market

2 small cauliflowers, broken into florets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 bay leaf
1/2 glass red wine
1 tbsp apricot jam
1 slice lemon
1 cup good quality mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp double cream
Leaves from a small sprig of mint
1/2 cucumber, diced 
3 oz toasted almonds 

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, turning the florets over half way through the cooking. Once browned, and charred in places, remove the florets from the oven and leave to cool.

Meanwhile fry the onion in the remaining oil in a small pan. After about 15 minutes when the onion is soft and translucent you can throw in the curry powder and fry until you are enveloped in wonderful spicy smells. Add the tomato pureé, water, bayleaf, red wine, apricot jam and lemon, simmer for about 5 minutes then strain through a sieve and leave to cool.

Stir the cold curry sauce mixture into the mayonnaise and cream. Taste and season well. Toss about 1/2 the florets in the mayonnaise leaving others to sprinkle over the top. Sprinkle over the mint leaves and cucumber to serve. Throw over the almonds if using.

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