We wanted to hand the blog over for a special resident takeover - so here we go!
Hello Fizzy friends! My name is Eleni and I have recently moved to Fizzy Lewisham from Greece. I am half British half Greek and I am a cookbook author and food blogger at The Foodie Corner. Food-related environmental issues are important to me and I absolutely hate food waste, something that I try to address often through my writing and recipes.
But enough about me, let’s talk about how living in Lewisham is so great for home cooks and foodies. Of course being in such a central location is fantastic for finding great cafes and restaurants, but for someone who loves cooking the main attractions in this area can only be the markets.
Lewisham High Street is home to the main street market which is open every day. Large stalls absolutely toppling over with fresh colourful produce. The system here is quite different to what I was used to in Greek farmers’ markets and indeed other local markets where you can choose the quantities you want. Here they have a cute bowl system, where they fill bowls with a particular fruit or vegetable and you get the whole bowlful, most of the time for just one pound! And the bowls are quite large, so you can get a couple of kilos of cherry tomatoes for example, or a kilo and a half of juicy apples, or several sweet peppers for this bargain price. The bowl itself isn’t included though! Some products are of course sold by the piece, like cabbages or pomegranates or large avocados etc., but these too are astonishingly low priced.
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when shopping at Lewisham Market. First is that if your product of choice is in a bowl you can’t get a smaller quantity, so you need to be sure you can use up what’s there. For singles or couples these amounts can sometimes be a bit excessive, so think before you buy. If however you know you’ll eat everything up, or you have a large family, or if you’re bulk buying to make say applesauce or jam or tomato sauce, you can’t go wrong! The second thing to remember is that most stalls are cash only. And don’t forget to take your own bags, otherwise the contents of the bowls get plopped into plastic carrier bags. Finally, it might be an idea to take a peek at the bottom of the bowl just to double check everything is in good shape, especially in hot weather.
A great farmers’ market to visit in Lewisham is Brockley Market which takes place every Saturday in the Lewisham College car park. Here you can buy the quantities you want and you will find lots of fabulous quality local and organic fruit and veg. There are also fish, seafood, meat, sausage, artisan bread and cheese stalls. And after you’ve finished your weekly shop you can grab a bite from one of the street food stalls and enjoy it at one of the tables set out especially.
Blackheath farmers’ market, held in the Blackheath train station car park every Sunday, is similar to Brockley with lots of high quality local and organic produce, and also some meat, cheese, bread, cake stalls etc. From Lewisham Fizzy you can either take the very pleasant walk across the common (perfect for a Sunday stroll), or you can hop on the train for one stop and you’ll be there before you know it. Make sure to have a little walk around pretty Blackheath Village before you leave.
So with three nearby markets full of lovely fresh fruit and veg, you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you’re shopping on a tight budget, making an effort to go plastic-free, or looking for the best quality organic produce, you’ll surely find what you are looking for. For more markets in the wider area take a look here.
And now you’ve done your shopping, are you stuck for ideas on what to make with all the delicious vegetables you brought back? Here is a new recipe for an easy, nutritious, one-pot Greek meal called “Lahanoryzo”. The name translates to Cabbage-rice and it’s a simple, budget-friendly and very tasty dish made throughout winter in Greece. It’s naturally plant-based and I’ve added my own twist in the form of some curry powder! Let’s have a look at the recipe.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20-25 gr spring onions, finely chopped, green parts included
- 160 gr leeks, finely sliced, light green parts included
- 600 gr white cabbage, chopped into medium slices
- ½ tsp curry powder (or adjust according to the strength of your curry)
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper (or freshly ground black is fine too)
- 500 ml vegetable stock, hot
- 70 gr easy cook long grain white rice (see note)
- extra hot water, if necessary
- crusty bread to serve
- Heat the oil in a 20 cm wide saucepan over high heat. Cook the spring onions and leeks for 2-3 minutes until softened, stirring often.
- Add the cabbage and stir meticulously until it’s well coated in the oil. It will seem like there is too much in the pan, but it will lose much of its volume soon. Continue to cook stirring often for about 9 minutes. It’s ok if it starts to brown and stick a bit in places, just stir to loosen it (the stock with bring up any bits from the bottom).
- Add the spices, salt and pepper and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, stir again and turn the heat right down. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the cabbage has started to soften.
- Mix in the rice, cover again and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the rice has absorbed the stock and is cooked through. It’s supposed to be quite juicy and it will continue thickening slightly as it cools. If during cooking the liquid is all absorbed and the rice isn’t cooked yet, just add some hot water, a quarter cup at a time, until the rice softens. Let the cabbage rice rest off heat for a few minutes with the lid on.
- Serve warm with some fresh crusty bread. You can also sprinkle some nutritional yeast over the top, for a hint of cheesy flavour.
- Rice – Try to use the type of rice mentioned above otherwise you may have to adjust cooking time and/or the texture of the final dish might be different. The “easy cook” long grain white rice I used has a cook time of about 15 minutes.
- Alternative tomato version – You could skip the curry powder and make a tomato-based version of this dish instead. Just add 1 tbsp of tomato paste and ¼ tsp sugar to the pan together with the paprika, salt and pepper. Then continue as per the recipe and add a squeeze of lemon or two at the end. Serve with some crumbled feta cheese.
- Saucepan – If your pan is wider keep in mind that you may need less time at certain stages of the recipe, particularly the first steps.
For more vegetable dishes you can explore my veggie category on the blog, or check out the below suggestions, ideal for this time of year.