Off to the market
Fellow blogger Sally Prosser in My Custard Pie wrote so beautifully about Souk Al Bahar that I simply had to go see and taste for my self. Alas we went on a Saturday morning to find out later that it’s a friday market. However it turned out to be a little happy adventure for me and my baby girl. We got there and started looking for Baker and Spice; the organizers. The food was wonderful, with excellent service and atmosphere. Me and my other half shared a Shakshouka (tunisian dish- fried eggs baked on spicy tomato puree). Little Salma had 2 qroussiants dipped in labneh and as most children do, ate with hands and gutso.
There’s a part two to this story as we returned two weeks later to check out the market and take a picture of the Shakshouka that we never photographed on the first visit. I spoke to Yeal Majia the lady who is behind the farmer’s market initiative. It all started in April 2010 when local organic produce was discovered in Dubai and where people were ecstatic to find fruits and vegetables that were not flown thousands of miles on a plane but rather picked that morning and eaten while still beaming with life and freshness. The prices were outstandingly cheap and variety was great.
For the children in the market, however the amusing part to all this was the one goat four chickens and two ducks that were tucked in the corner. Little S got the hang of things and started picking leaves from the ground feeding the goat and occasionally tasting the leaves herself.
So back at home I took one look at the purchased random vegetable and all I could think of was ‘Ratatouille’. And yes I do think of Remy the parisian rat every time I hear or cook Ratatouille! But this time round it was not the french version but its greek counter part that I was after. This recipe is adapted from Rick Stein. In one of his Greek odisseys he meets with a woman that introduces him to this vegetable bake . I remember the ease and grace in which that greek lady simply and skilfully without using a cutting board knived all the left over vegetables from her kitchen into a baking dish adding fennel leaves, pureed tomato and two hours later this amazing bake came out. So I figured as I cant be on a greek island with a greek mama right now, I can at least recreate the dish and dream of Greece.
- 1300g potatoes
- 1 large courgette
- 1 large aubergine
- 2 large red and yellow pepper
- 1 large onion
- 6 large size tomatoes
- 10 cloves garlic
- 3 table spoons puree tomatoes
- 1/3 cup oilve oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 table spoon red wine vinegar
- table spoon each dried; oregano,parsley,rosemary
Pre heat the oven to 180-200 C. Except for the roughly chopped peppers, slice all potatoes, courgette, aubergine, onion and tomatoes in 5 mm thickness and layer in a roasting tray ALWAYS seasoning each layer with herbs, garlic paste, salt and pepper. On the side mix the tomato puree, oil, water and vinegar, pour over the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for approximately two hours. The vegetables will lent a great deal of water. Ladle and reduce by further heating or use to flavour couscous or any side dish with this delicious vegetable bake. Bon Appetite!