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If ever there was a winter dish this was it.  I’m pretty sure it must be quite healthy, all those lentils and greens, plus a good dose of garlic.  Anyway…what matters was it tasted fantastic. 

This is one of those meals where the quality of the ingredients really makes the difference.  I used Puy Lentils, organic cavolo nero, and incredible coiled Italian sausages (that I picked up here).

The sausages
These incredible Italian sausages were simply popped under a hot grilled for about 5-6 minutes on each side until they were golden.  I even drained the little amount of amber coloured fat that pooled in the coils into the lentils – waste not want not!

The lentils
The lentils (about 200g for 2) were covered with water, with a bunch of tied parsley stalks, a peeled garlic clove and a bay leaf.  Simmered for about 15-20 minutes until soft, then drained.  I mixed in a splash of sherry vinegar to taste, seasoned well with salt and pepper, and stirred through chopped parsley.  Finally mash the garlic clove and stir in.

The cavolo nero
I’m not a huge cabbage and kale lover, but cavolo nero I have a bit of thing for.  First I chopped it up, popped it into a large pan of salted boiling water and let it cook for 3 minutes before draining.  Cool it immediately with cold water, then squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can.  When you’re ready to eat, gently fry some sliced garlic in oil then add the cavolo nero and stir to warm through.

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This past weekend we went to Bath for a weekend away with friends.  On Saturday morning whilst I was waiting for Mr Rigg to arrive by train, I ventured in to the Bath Farmer’s Market – and what treats awaited me!

Incredible veggies – like these pink stripey beetroot and mixed carrots.  I bought a bunch of each.

Wonderful cured meats and sausages – bottom right is pancetta and Coppa, both of which found their way into my shopping bag, along with some Italian pinwheel sausages (back top left). 

Mushrooms of all kinds – I bought a box of those teeny tiny ‘Paris Browns’.

Cheeses of all kinds, including the award winning Bath Soft Cheese – somewhere between a Brie and a Camembert.

This is the lovely oil man, selling rapeseed oil made from his farm’s crops, and also making a selection of delicious dressings.  I usually make all my own salad dressings, but I couldn’t resist a bottle of his creamy Quince and Cider dressing.

The quince lady…well that’s not her real name (a bit more on her soon) selling a selection of beautiful homemade quince products.  Syrups, jellies, sweets and quince paste.

The choice of vegetables available at the farmer’s markets is outstanding.  All farmers markets around the country should have this kind of choice.  Everyone around the country should have access to vegetables like these.  Dark bunches of cavolo nero and pumpkins of all sizes and colours.

The aforementioned flowerpot bread – cheese and herb I think, baked in a terracotta flowerpot to give it that unusual shape.  Also deliciously tasty!

If you ever thought winter vegetables could be boring, here’s a picture to change your mind – amber pumpkins, pinky-purple onions, muddy carrots, fat beetroot, stalks of sprouts, bundles of spinach, dark curly kale, crisp stalks of celery, fresh broccoli, and the wrinkly savoy cabbage or those tinged violet.

And this stall selling their own cheeses, and various cheese products and accompaniments – chutney, cheesecake, soft cheese, and curd tarts.  I bought some of their ewes cheese which was incredibly delicious.

Tuesday was my birthday.  Mr Rigg and I took a day off work and had a lovely relaxing day pottering in Knutsford, drinking thick hot chocolate with a spoon at an Italian cafe, and eating cake for supper.

We also had a delicious lunch at The Victoria pub in Altrincham – but I’m going to save that for a separate post as it was so good!

Mr Rigg made my birthday cake – a Victoria sponge with raspberry jam and butter cream icing.  Yum.  It was our first attempt, we bought new sandwich cake tins in Knutsford and set about making Hugh’s recipe from his Everyday book.  It turned out pretty good.  We certainly aren’t complaining!

italy
Image: petersandbach

I won’t be posting over the next week as N and I are off on our summer holiday!  We are spending seven lovely days in Italy, and can’t wait to relax, soak up some sun, and eat great food.  I promise to keep a food diary and take lots of pictures of all the food we see and eat.  See you in a week!

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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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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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