Henrietta Green’s Farmers’ Market Cookbook

Well known as a champion of the small, local food producer, Henrietta Green describes her excitement as she attended the very first farmers’ market at Bath in 1998. “No-one could have resisted”, she writes in the introduction to Farmers’ Market Cookbook: “the choice was vast, the quality unquestionable; everything seemed glisteningly fresh, brimming over with robust, proffering a traceable pedigree and sold by vigorously committed stall holders”.

Since that epoch-making day, the movement has proliferated to the point where there are now apparently over 250 such markets.

As well as being an excellent collection of seasonal recipes, this book incorporates much information about the working lives of direct-selling farmers, most of whom have seen their profits and satisfaction increase, and a strongly argued case for the intelligent regulation of the market system.

But the whole point of farmers’ markets is the quality of the food and Henrietta Green provides excellent ideas for what to do with it when you get it home, be it honey, game, beef, vegetables, bread or cheese. She gives a fine recipe for roast loin of veal, for example–how wonderful to think that one can eat veal now with a clear conscience. A wild mushroom and garlic pizza is another eye-catcher, as is lamb shanks with port.

Although the recipes are seasonal, most are provided with modifications to fit different parts of the year. All very expert, appetising and inspirational; and likely to make you feel a better person. As Henrietta Green says, farmers’ markets may not save the planet, but they make it a better place to live.

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