At Harvest | 15th October 2022

Butter is a dip now finally, a name to a recipe, the rainfall event, and NORTH festival

The think tank (comparable to a goldfish tank in size and intellectual capacity though it may be) that is the operations team at Harvest has been saying for years that butter is a dip. Any right-thinking person who has made garlic butter knows this. Your cat knows this when it jumps up to lick the butter while you’re not home. Butter is a dip. We’ve been saying it for years and now thanks to tik-tok (a phrase we hoped never to use) the world is finally waking up to ‘butter plates’. Spreadable butter spread on a plate and adorned avec accoutrements. Read: butter dip.

Though butter may not be a feature of the market at present, there is plenty of amazing local butter, cultured or philistinic with which to indulge in this new-found freedom. Butter plates necessitate garnishes and condiments. And boy howdy, is there plenty suitable at Harvest. How about sunflower seeds, parsley, slivered carrots and tomato relish? Or you could try hazelnuts, radish, chilli salt and chives. The winner in the office discussion was asparagus tips, chervil, red wine vinegar, feta and pepperberry salt.

Ignore the Pet Shop Boys and go NORTH

The ever-fabulous NORTH Festival has kicked off this week in and around Launceston. Between the guided walks, special menus, tasting events and general gastronomic indulgence, there is plenty going on. For our part, Harvest is putting together hampers of stallholder goodies for you to take and enjoy picnic-style around the town. Sales have closed for this week, but they’re around for next week too! Check out the link for info and to pre-purchase for your Saturday outing.

Great weather for ducks

While respected and a useful fallback in conversation, the Bureau of Meteorology is not – like most government agencies – not to be trusted. We have noticed an uncanny phenomenon at Harvest over the years, the weather seems to clear up just in time for setup. Although that was hardly true of September, we’re simply speculating that the BOM has been wrong in the past. To quote a northern Tasmanian farmer on the ABC this morning “the worst part is that you just don’t know”.

We’re not diminishing what is at the time of writing a potentially life-threatening rainfall event for northern and northwestern Tasmania. We are certainly thinking of and wishing the best for our many stallholders from the region. When property or lives are at stake, wishing for a dry day at the market seems… petty at best. Nevertheless, dry and sunny are the ideal conditions that benefit everyone and it’s looking good.

Harvest is but one day a week, and our producers have to deal with the other 6 too. The conditions of spring thus far are proving challenging for many of them. It feels some time since we’ve added some real talk into the blog, but the message continues to be clear: Harvest is a critical outlet for our food economy. The more you shop with us, the more everyone benefits.

By any other name…

Ribollita. Now it has been said out loud we finally have a name for the recipe we demo’d with Eat Well Tasmania a few weeks back.

As with so many zero-waste dishes, it doesn’t do to be too prescriptive. That said, if you do want to make ribollita (literally, “boiled over”) from scratch, a few pointers might be helpful. Like many Italian dishes, ribollita starts with a soffrito of carrot, celery and onion. It also tends to be very heavy on the greens. Cavolo nero would be our first choice, for its robustness of flavour and texture. But if you have another sort of cabbage, chard or leafy green, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. Add garlic to the beans as they cook. Use fennel seeds and chilli, and herbs such as thyme, rosemary or sage also make fine additions. Beans are common in ribollita, and if you’re using dried ones add a strip of kombu or a sprig of winter savoury to your boiling water. This can reduce the.. gastric symptoms… that often accompany beans.

OK, that’s it for now. Stay safe and dry wherever you can Tassie.

Join us on Saturday!

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