Market Meals

On a little excursion to find some salad stuffs I ended up going a little further than expected. Taking a detour to Borough Market I feel drawn there like a mouse to cheese. It’s an amazing place, full of life, sounds, smells and inspiration. It's always so wonderful to meet all of the amazing food suppliers, who are so passionate about their produce.

It's wonderful just to stand and chat to them about their journey in life, what brought them here, why borough market, why farming, why food? I am so interested in how people get to where they are and how our paths cross, it’s facinating.

For what was meant to be a simple salad for a weeks-worth of lunch, ended up being a week’s worth of everything and anything that caught my attention! Making presents out of the cheeses and meats that I won’t eat myself but look too good to walk past and not take home!

With a few additional tips and suggestions from a very interested Greengrocer here are a few of the main dishes I walked away with. #UnleashTheFoodie

Beef and shiitake mushroom stir-fry - By Michael Caines

Ingredients - 1 tbsp. sesame oil - 300g/10½oz beef shoulder steak, thinly sliced - 1 garlic clove, crushed - 10g/¾oz ginger, grated - 100g/3½oz shiitake mushrooms sliced - 100g/3½oz spring cabbage sliced - 50g/2oz red onion, sliced - 50g/2oz bean sprouts - 50g/2oz mange-tout- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder - 1 tbsp. sesame seeds - 1 lime, juice only

Method - Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the beef to the pan and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until coloured on all sides. Add the garlic and ginger and stir well. Add the vegetables and stir fry for another minute or until the beef is cooked to your liking. As soon as the beef is cooked, add the five-spice powder, sesame seeds and lime juice, stir and remove from the heat. To serve, season with salt and/or soy sauce and divide among four plates.

Avocado and bacon salad - By James Martin

Ingredients - 2 back bacon slices, fat trimmed - 1 Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated, chopped - 1 avocado, peeled, stone removed, chopped - Squeeze of lemon juice - 2 tbsp. olive oil - ¼ garlic clove, crushed - ¼ tsp Dijon mustard – Croutons

Method - Heat a large frying pan and fry the bacon until it is crisp and browned on both sides. When the bacon is cool enough to handle slice into thin pieces, trimming any visible fat off.  Put all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside. For the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and combine thoroughly to form a smooth dressing. Add the croutons to the salad bowl and drizzle over the salad dressing.

Pan-fried balsamic pear salad with pancetta, gorgonzola and a warm honey dressing - By Lorraine Pascale 

Ingredients - 2 x 120g/4oz packets rocket - handful pine nuts- 16 slices pancetta - 2 knobs of butter - 1 tsp olive oil- 4 pears, peeled, cored, quartered - 1 tsp honey,, plus extra for the dressing - 1 tsp balsamic, plus 2 tbsp. for the dressing - ½ tsp Dijon Mustard 150g/5oz gorgonzola, ripped into chunk - salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method - Toast the pine nuts until golden-brown.  Heat the pancetta in a frying pan until crispy. Remove and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Place a knob of butter and the oil into a clean frying pan set over a low heat. Once the butter melts, add the pears, salt, pepper and honey. Turn up the heat and cook for a further five minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute, then take the pan off the heat. Remove the pears from the pan, reserving any juice that may be left. Arrange on the rocket leaves.

For the dressing - Put the pan containing the pear juices back on the heat and add the remaining knob of butter, a dash of honey, the mustard, salt and pepper and the pine nuts. Cook the mixture until warmed through and pour the dressing over the pears and the rocket. Scatter over the gorgonzola and serve.