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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Market Day


I live in a small traditional Portuguese village away from the tourist towns along the coast of the Algarve, and one of the things that I love most is the market. It is predominantly a fish and vegetable market serving the local Portuguese community - we don't have many visitors, so the prices have remained as they should be. Yesterday morning, I was there early to buy my vegetables for the weekend. The new potatoes are delicious (we had some earlier in the week) and they really 'taste' of goodness - both nutty and creamy. I also bought figs - the season for figs is just starting here and soon we will be able to gather our own from the garden and the road sides.

Last night I cooked the potatoes using a recipe that was given to me by the cook at my son's new school. It is a typical and very simple dish from the region around Aljezur on the west coast - I will call it Aljuzurian Garlic Potatoes: in a casserole or baking dish, cut the larger of the new potatoes in half, add a generous number of crushed cloves of garlic, slice a medium size onion into wedges, add some cherry tomatoes, coat everything with a good quality olive oil and insert sprigs of fresh mint around. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Bake for 30 minutes in an oven pre-set to 180 degrees. It was absolutely scrumptious and was a great accompaniment to the tiger prawns! We are so fortunate to have such wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep. And I am enjoying cooking at home after restaurant life, although I'm still finding it hard to work with smaller quantities!