Since I moved to West London about a month ago, I’ve been trying to make it to my local farmers market at Queen’s Park almost every weekend. It’s a different style of market for me – my favorite markets back east were all about discovering and eating the incredible prepared food, from eating extravaganzas and grilled cheese happiness at Borough Market to wild mushroom risotto and salted caramel cupcakes at Broadway Market just behind my old flat. In contrast, my new local market has some good snacks, but here it’s more about the grocery shopping – you can buy everything from excellent free-range meat to fresh eggs to heritage cheeses to lots of local produce all grown within 100 miles of the M25. I’ve been trying to maximize farmers market shopping and minimize supermarket shopping as much as possible, so each Sunday has been a big shopping spree to buy as much as we can for the week.
We’ve been obsessively experimenting with happy chickens – here you can see Old Hall Farm and Fosse Meadows Farm stands, both of which offer a perfect bird for a Sunday night roast with market vegetables. And pretty bunting.
Perry’s Farm and Ted’s Veg are great for stocking up on produce – I’ve been trying all sorts of fun and colorful things like green and red kale, red cabbage, Isle of Wight tomatoes, sorrel, cress, local apple and pear varieties, rhubarb stalks, and purple sprouting broccoli.
It’s all excellent quality, grown by small farmers and producers, and a great way to get involved in supporting the local community. Plus, it’s delicious. Showing up at the market and buying whatever looks exciting is a great way to try out new vegetables and play around with different recipes.
I love broccoli, especially when it’s pretty and purple. I think it’s delicious on its own, but let’s be honest…isn’t everything a little bit extra awesome when you add cheese into the mix?