THE SAN REMO MARKET IN ITALY IS A FANTASTIC FOODY DAY OUT.
San Remo, the capital of the Italian Riviera, is situated less than two hours’ by train from where we live in the South of France. This colourful Mediterranean town is home to one of the best markets in Europe, so it’s handy for us that it is so easily reached by train from the French Côte d’Azur. Market days are Tuesdays and Saturdays, and I would recommend getting there in good time in the morning, as most of the stalls tend to pack up around 1pm. San Remo market is the place to go for beautifully crafted leather goods and soft cashmere jumpers, but the highlight for me is the incredible food market.
Foodys will be in their element thanks to the incredible selection of gastronomic goodies to choose from- delicious artisanal cheeses; plump, juicy olives; delicately made fresh pastas; sun-kissed Mediterranean vegetables; flavoursome cured meats; sweet soft fruits, and much, much more. The price of fresh produce in San Remo is significantly cheaper than it is across the border on the French Riviera, so it is worth taking a large bag to stock up.
We had some visitors staying last week, and on Tuesday, they headed off to San Remo to go to the market. They returned later on, having had a brilliant day of sampling Italian delights in the food market, enjoying a delicious lunch of fresh ravioli and traditional sauce, and buying bits and pieces to take back to England with them. Luckily for us, they had thoughtfully picked up some of my favourite ingredients whilst they were in Italy. I received a huge block of authentic Parmesan cheese, which was full of flavour, with that beautiful, slightly grainy texture that good Parmesan has. There were juicy, plump tomatoes on the vine; shiny black aubergines; Verde Chiaro d’Italia courgettes; sweet, luscious pears; and tangy clementines.
So this week, I have enjoyed using the wonderful Italian produce in my kitchen. I made a fantastic fresh pesto using a good sized block of the Parmesan, some flaked almonds, a bunch of basil, a few of the tomatoes, a few anchovies, and some homemade olive oil from our friends’ garden. I blitzed the whole lot up in my magimix with a pinch of chilli flakes, some salt and some pepper. I served it with warm pasta, with some more Parmesan grated on the top. If you have leftover basil or tomatoes, sprinkle some of those on too. To accompany it, I griddled some endive, and then dressed it in balsamic syrup and olive oil. I grated some more of the Parmesan and tossed it with some rocket and a fresh lemon juice dressing. The end result was a fresh, healthy, vegetarian meal, which highlighted the wonderful Italian flavours of the ingredients.
I still have some of the produce left to use. So this week, I will be creating bolognese-stuffed aubergines, pears poached in red wine and vanilla, and a risotto with salmon and courgette. To be continued………