At this time of year it is very easy to eat local and seasonal food in Lancaster.
It is the time of year when it becomes easy to source more than 30 per cent of your food locally and still have a variety of things to eat. (Go on, take the local food pledge: s.coop/1v851.)
The Food Assembly, for example, currently has a wide choice of local organic veg on offer from Growing with Nature in Pilling.
You can buy a variety of different salad leaves, peas, beans and potatoes, in addition to tomatoes, courgettes, fennel, onions and kohlrabi.
As well as vegetables, you can buy crusty breads from Filbert’s, tasty seasonal soups from Soup Dragon and baked treats created by the Ginger Baker and Eat and Meet.
I have even been able to cook one of my favourite Greek dishes – Fasoulakia – using seasonal local produce only (except for the salt and pepper).
It is quick and easy to cook and tastes of summer. All you need (to serve four to six people) is one onion sliced, two cloves of garlic crushed, three to six large potatoes diced, about 300g of green beans, six ripe tomatoes, oil or butter for frying and salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Here’s the recipe:
Heat the oil (or butter) in a large saucepan and fry the onions until translucent.
Add the crushed garlic and fry gently for approximately one minute.
Add the diced potatoes and fry until slightly ‘fluffy’.
Add the tomatoes and fry until they break up and go mushy.
Add the green beans and some water (until roughly three quarters of the potatoes are covered).
Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the potatoes are ready.
Fasoulakia is great eaten with friends and served with fresh bread and the optional slice of cheese (both locally sourced of course).
Fasoulakia is just one recipe that can be made using local produce. I have now started to collect a number of other recipes that can be made using predominantly locally sourced produce – to share with local food pledgers.
In doing so I have come across some great recipe sharing ideas in Lancaster. For example one lady collected her neighbours’ favourite recipes and created a booklet which she gave to her whole street at Christmas.
Why don’t you send me your favourite recipe and I can share it in future local food columns?
And why not take the local food pledge: s.coop/1v851?