Farmer's market in Dubai

Seasonal eatings at the Baker & Spice farmer's market


Hot strawberries
• Take 1kg of clean local strawberries with good colour and scent. They should be firm and if they are slightly acidic, so much the better.

• Place in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons or less of dark Muscovado sugar and an uncut vanilla bean. (White sugar is ok, albeit less healthy, but dark Muscovado is less sweet with dark molasses tones – yum).

• Cook gently over a low heat until the strawberries start giving off syrup. When you think there is enough syrup and it smells too good in the kitchen, retrieve the vanilla pod. Rinse it, dry it and place in your sugar bowl for vanilla-scented sugar.

• Serve the hot strawberries with custard, cream or ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and eat with yoghurt for breakfast. They’ll also work well with French Toast.

Roast pumpkin or squash soup
• Take one pumpkin or squash weighing 1.5kg (3lbs). Peel and cut into equal-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and add a little salt and pepper.

• Add two cloves of garlic and roast in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice.

• Chop up a couple of stalks of celery, a couple of carrots and a medium onion

• Pour a little olive oil into a pot and cook the vegetables gently, covered, stirring them occasionally until softened but not coloured.

• Add the cooked pumpkin and garlic to the pot, with enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer gently for 20 minutes.

• Add fresh thyme, a little chilli and blitz the vegetable mixture with a soup blender or in a food processor, adding salt and pepper to your taste.

• Serve with a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraîche. A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice will brighten the soup.

Roasted cauliflower with leaves and labneh
• Slice cauliflower head into 1cm slices, and pop in a roasting pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

• Roast in a hot oven, turning occasionally. Arrange on a plate.

• Take the trimmed leaves from the cauliflower stalk. Toss into the pan with a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper, return to the oven and cook for five minutes.

• Spoon over some labneh or yoghurt, tahini, sumac and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve hot.

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