I’ve decided to change tack this month as it feels as if I am just repeating myself on what to buy every month at the farmers market now this blog has been up and running for a while. Instead I thought I’d give a simple list of what’s at its best now and then suggest a recipe that you really should cook this month, using the best of what’s available.
For a more detailed guide for what’s in season just click on this link to a previous post: August at the farmers’ market.
In my shopping basket this August:
Fish & seafood: Wild salmon, sea trout, sole, sea bass, plaice, mackerel and sardines
Meat and game: Lamb, beef, pork (all great for barbecues)
Venison, wild duck, wood pigeon, rabbit, grouse (not local but your game dealer may have some)
Vegetables: Tomatoes, onions, French and runner beans, courgettes, aubergine, peppers, cucumber, fennel, shallots, salad leaves, corn on the cob, early marrows and squashes, main crop potatoes
Fruit: Raspberries, strawberries, black, white and red currants, plums, blueberries and blackberries, the last of the cherries
Here’s a quick and easy way to cook really fresh fish straight from the market. I’ve made it with bass but you could use mackerel or plaice. Serve with a rocket salad, crusty local bread and a glass of chilled English wine – the perfect late summer meal
Sea bass with braised fennel, black olives and tomatoes
Serves 2/Prep 10 minutes/Cook 25 – 40 minutes
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
100g small ripe tomatoes, halved
50g kalamata olives, stoned
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large sea bass fillets or one whole fish, gutted and trimmed
1/2 lemon, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped flat leafed parsley
100ml dry white wine or white vermouth
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 220C fan oven 200C Gas mark 7. Toss the fennel, tomatoes, olives and half the garlic together with half the olive oil and seasoning and arrange over the base of a small roasting tin or shallow baking dish that fits both fish fillets neatly. Cook for 10 minutes until wilting.
2 Stir the vegetables to allow for even cooking. Arrange the fish fillets on top of the vegetables and season well. Scatter over the lemon slices and scatter with the remaining garlic and parsley. Pour over the wine. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes for the fillets or 20 – 30 minutes for the whole fish until the fish is cooked through. Serve with new potatoes and a rocket salad.