Light and Fresh Fennel and Olive Oil Lunch
The Italian and I have taken to visiting Farmers’ Markets on Saturday mornings. It’s something our dog also looks forward to. We feel like an old couple going off with the dog and filling up our senses with the most beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the ever more bustling markets. So far we go most often to what is probably the most popular, Subiaco Farmers’ Market which is held on the grounds of Subiaco Primary School. Here we stock up on gluten free breads for the week ahead, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, beautiful gluten, nitrate and preservative free pork sausages from Spencersbrookfarm, beef sausages and recently Osso Bucco from Gingin Beef Farm all from free range animals with no additives of any kind. This kind of food certainly makes a difference. Not only to the animals, but ultimately to our own health not to mention the superior taste.
A few Saturday mornings ago, the Italian almost lost it, when he saw the beautiful fennel on display from one of the local growers. He waxed lyrical about his time growing up in Italy and buying fresh produce from the markets there. Of course fennel, celery and a bunch of other vegetables that would last us for the next two or three days were selected and carried away in our jute bags. We have become creatures of habit. Once we have our bread, fruit and veg and a bit of meat we get a coffee and enjoy it under the shade of a large tree on the school’s grounds before heading home.
Once home I began unpacking our stash when I noticed The Italian busying himself with lunch. I was not complaining. We have become increasingly aware of reducing our waste and no food in our house gets thrown out anymore. Everything is either eaten or used up in salads or soups or it makes its way into lunch boxes the next day. This day was no exception. He had prepared a lovely clean lunch using up the bits of artichoke in the fridge, some tuna, a simple tomato salad and pieces of the fresh fennel and celery. The boys looked at this lot very sceptically until their dad showed them what they were to do. Along with these tasty vegetables were small dishes of Australian pink sea salt and peppery olive oil (also Australian….I only buy local now) with a dash of balsamic vinegar. The idea is you dip the vegetables in the oil and vinegar mixture into wish you sprinkle the salt and crunch away. It was delicious. Of course you couldn’t eat this way with limp vegetables. The real taste comes from the freshness of the ingredients and I firmly believe the way it is grown…naturally without chemicals that harm us.
This was a beautiful walk down memory lane for my husband, but also an affirmation of a culture that knows how to eat well and healthily. Not only was this a lovely lunch, but I think it would make a great pre lunch or dinner snack for guests instead of chips and dips. Don’t you?