Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m farmer’s market OBSESSED! Actually, any kind of food shopping I’m generally down with. But I particularly love markets because I love finding out about where my food comes from. Here are my best tips to get the most out of your local farmer’s market:
- Take a basket, bag or even better a wheely trolley to carry your goods – most vendors won’t have bags or boxes to give out.
- Take cash, preferably in smaller notes so you don’t clean someone out of all their change first thing in the morning.
- Make the most out of the opportunity and chat to the producers. You will always learn something wonderful about the produce, how to store it, prepare it and maybe even a recipe or two.
- Arrive early to nab the best looking produce.
- Arrive late to take advantage of any end of day discounts or bargains.
- Be inspired by the produce! Take a risk. Buy something you have never cooked with before – you will have the best advice around you on what to do with it.
- You will often get great deals if you buy in bulk. See if your friends want to go halves with you in that bag of tomatoes, or think about perhaps preserving some of your haul.
So there you have my tips for farmer’s markets. I also love how everyone is so friendly, there are always dogs, usually a great coffee van situation, loads of fabulous fresh produce, and no-one is getting upset because the person in front of them in line can’t find their rewards card and is holding up the express check-out.
This is a very shallow tart, about the thickness of a pizza, and feels like a bit of a hybrid tart-pizza – hence the name! It would be fabulous with loads of different toppings so feel free to switch it up. I loaded lots of different herbs to make it quite herby and green, yum!
For the topping:
3-4 shiitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)
4-5 free range eggs
2 large leaves of silverbeet/swiss chard, kale, or your favourite leafy green
A handful of olives
A handful of fresh sage (or basil or parsley)
A few sprigs of rosemary (or thyme)
½ cup goat’s cheese
A calendula flower (optional)
For the pastry:
250g wholemeal spelt flour
125g butter, cut into chunks
1 free range egg
Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F.
Pop the flour and butter in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb.
Whisk the egg well with a fork in a separate bowl and then while the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the egg.
Process until the mixture comes together and looks like a dough.
Tip it out, squash it together a couple of times and then wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and pop in the fridge for half an hour.
Meanwhile, you can start on the topping!
Slice up the mushrooms and leek, and add to a pan over medium heat with a little coconut oil or butter and sauté for a few minutes.
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl.
Remove the stems from the silverbeet and slice into thin pieces.
Just by the by, I like to roll up my leaves and then slice them so that you get fine but long pieces, but it’s up to you – you don’t really even need to cut them if you don’t want to!
Once the pastry has rested in the fridge, roll it out with a rolling pin. To make this super easy you can put the pastry dough in between 2 pieces of baking paper to prevent any sticking. This also makes it super easy to transfer to the tray once you’re done. Depending on the temperature you may need up place your hands on the pastry to soften it up a little first.
Place your pastry onto a lined baking tray and shape to fit the sides, creating a small ‘wall’ all around. If some tears or there is a hole, just patch it up with a spare piece.
Pop into the oven for 20 minutes, or until you start to see a nice golden colour forming. Remove from the oven.
Arrange your mushrooms, leek, olives, silverbeet, herbs and calendula if using in your pastry shell. Pour over the eggs and bake for around 15-20 minutes, or until the egg has set.