Flake news, mosaics, flowers and kebab shop classics
We do promise to stop harping on about the arrival of spring. Soon, but not today. The first few weeks have been so lunch it’s hard not to keep focusing on it. We’ve been banging on about the return of spring produce for a while now. That aspect of Harvest is almost at full strength, barring a couple of notable exceptions. Whom are on thier way we promise. Yet, another true harbinger of spring is the return of flowers to le marche. Flowerdale Lily Farm has been around for most of winter and we’ve loved their tulips of late. Plants Direct are back this week, The Green Flower Farm are back the next. Plus with Thistle Hut and Heathermoor Peonies on the books for their season kick-off soon so, spring is almost in full bloom.
I don’t know art but I know what I like.
What goes well with flowers? That’s right. Art. This week for World Peace Week, Harvest is proud to be hosting the Afghan Women’s Collective. They’re coming down to play some tunes, present their Mosaic for Peace… piece and engage with our community through art, music and conversation. This stuff is right up our alley. Diversity makes us stronger and we love sharing our space and doing whatever we can to make our community stronger, more resilient and harmonious.
Speaking of harmonious, is there any more harmonious combination of foods than flaky puff pastry and deliciously seasoned sausage meat? Certainly, someone thought so. We definitely agree. Although we do think that this takes it a little far. We’re struggling to decide if it is sheer genius or if its creator should in some way be punished for unleashing this on the world. For example, being forced to eat one. Perhaps the knowledge of its creation is punishment enough though.
And it isn’t that
‘No good deed goes unpunished’ is a common refrain around the Harvest office. As is ‘geez I could go for a kebab’ and ‘Rhys please stop talking’. In Launceston, we have what may be the single greatest kebab shop in the country in the form of Turkish Tukka (who got their star where? That’s right, Harvest Market). Variations and iterations of the humble kebab shop offerings feature heavily in the dinner rotation of the Harvest team. Mainly because everything one needs for a legit kebab can be purchased at Harvest. Well, not quite yet, but it’s coming! To get you salivating for that particular brand of delicious, we thought we’d share this one with you: kebab shop eggplant. You know that spicy eggplant and potato thing you get in a good kebab shop? It’s called saksuka and it’s amazing.
Cut a couple of eggplants into 2.5 cm cubes, salt them and leave them to sit for a while. This is important as it removes the bitter and astringent liquid from the eggplant. While the eggplant is salting, dice about 300 grams of potato to the same size, and cook in seasoned water. Set the potato cubes aside. Drain and dry the eggplant cubes, then fry them off (in batches if necessary) in hot oil until they’re deliciously golden brown on all sides. Drain them on paper town and give them a nudge more seasoning. Grab about 5 long green chillies and give them the same treatment. Drain them and season a little too.
Next, make a tomato sauce with an onion, some garlic, Aleppo pepper, and aci biber salçasi (a Turkish chilli paste) and cooking tomatoes (or a can if necessary), and season with some salt, vinegar and sugar. Let the sauce cool, then gently mix in your spuds, eggplant and green chillies. Chill the lot down before serving, preferably overnight. The longer those flavours have to become harmonious, the better.
By the way
Junction Arts Festival x Harvest Market 2022 has just been announced. The Sunday Recovery Brunch features Harvest produce, music, comedy and our resident chef. It is set to be Launceston’s premier (read: only) comedy slash music slash food event of the year. Sunday 18th September. Check out the link for all the info.
Harvest Market x North Festival 2022 in October is a thing. Our stallholders are creating a picnic hamper for locals and visitors alike to pre-purchase and enjoy at their leisure. Before, during or after all the other amazing happenings and machinations of the spring gastronomic celebrations of NORTH festival. Order your hampers here!
OK, get cooking. Or at least bookmark this page for when eggplant returns to the tables at Harvest.
Thanks for reading, it’s lunchtime.