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River Cottage

Living in Cheshire, Devon is a long way away, but the opportunity to meet one of my favourite people and go to River Cottage made the drive worthwhile. We used my parents in the Cotswolds as a base, and travelled down the rest of the way this past Saturday to go to the Autumn Fair held at Park Farm.

River Cottage autumn fair

The whole weekend was scorching hot, both in Devon and the Cotswolds – what a treat!  After parking, we wandered down the track towards River Cottage HQ.  Park Farm is set in the bowl of a very beautiful valley, with rolling hills rising up around it.  A pop-up hotel of bell tents had been set up, and other clusters of cream coloured tipis and tents surrounded the farm house.

River Cottage Devon

Having got up early, not eaten breakfast, and a long drive later (I SO hate those 40mph sections that seem to plague our motorways at the moment!) I was in a bit of “Charlie flap”, as it’s probably known, when we finally arrived.  I am ashamed to admit I’m not that used to, or a huge fan of crowds of people – I live a sheltered life working on my own at home with the dog!  So Mr Rigg quickly steered me towards the BBQ to get something to eat.

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I have been wanting to make and devour this meal ever since I spied it.  What would we do without Nigel Slater?  This recipe was found in his book Tender, which is fabulous, and everyone should read it.

We had rain yesterday and this morning, but by the time we got home from work it was hot and sunny again.  A perfect excuse to use the barbeque, if only to chargrill some courgettes.

The green lentils are boiled until cooked, then mixed into a dressing of red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar (I substituted sherry for cider as this is what I had), olive oil, finely chopped garlic, sliced spring onions, salt and pepper.

For the courgettes, you slice them thinly (I used a selection of green and yellow), pop them in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  You leave them for at least half an hour, then wash them and pat them dry.

Chargrill them, then toss them in extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

And finely, the ham.  This was excellent quality, acorn-fed Spanish ham.  That’s it.  You don’t do anything to it, just lay out the slices on your plate, or tear them up a bit.

Altogether on a plate this is a beautiful combination of tastes and textures.  Eaten outside it is, of course, all the better.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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