Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fig and Fennel salad

Not a great start to blogging to take another two week break. But I've been busy guvna, honest! I actually have. My job involves going to each political party's annual conference, staying for about 3 or 4 days at each, putting on an event, meeting politicians and other bigwigs, going to lots of events for interest, to ask questions and live off the endless spreads of canapes, fingerfoods and run-of-the-mill wines. I'm going to blog about all that jazz later. The super-extra time pressure is a self-inflicted part-time Masters which I've signed up to do alongside my full-time job. It's all going to get crazy!

Today, however, I'm going to tell you about a tasty meal I cooked a couple of weeks back before it slips my mind.

I was walking past the fruit'n'veg stall at Kentish Town tube when I was grabbed by a scrawled notice: "4 figs for £1". I picked up 4. Then I saw another scrawled notice: "2 fennel for 50p". I bought 2. I halved and griddled the figs, then sliced top-down the fennels and griddled them too. Meanwhile I roasted quickly some chopped walnuts, prepared some rocket, chopped some manchego cheese, threw the lot together and whisked up a sherry vinegar dressing. was delicious, smoky, earthy. It looked like this:

I have a thing for 'posh' sausages. When I lived in Berlin, you'd think I'd have had plenty of brilliant sausages. But once you've tried the exciting sausages available in farmers' markets and better supermarkets in Britain, German sausages don't cut it. The sausages you get in the supermarket and from street stalls in Germany are so processed you'd hardly know there was meat in them.

While there are clearly many better sausages to be had than the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range, my biggest weakness in sausages has always been their Parmesan and Pancetta blend. Any guest that came to visit me would ask "can I bring anything from Britain? Cheddar cheese? Irn Bru?". No. Parmesan and Pancetta sausages from Sainsbury's. I hadn't seen them in Sainsbury's for about a year and then spotted them at the big 'un in Camden and had to buy a pack. I cooked them and served them with the fig'n'fennel salad and some zingy potato salad too:

All in all, a lovely end of summer meal.

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