Saturday, 13 June 2009

Haringey Green Fair and a yearning for lamb

Today's serious business was going to the Haringey Green Fair to help man the Friends of the Earth stall, but I woke with a serious yearning for roast lamb. Is this the after-effects of a holiday in Greece? Maybe not - I was delighted to see Hugh F-W is also in lamb mood in today's Guardian magazine. So I hot-bussed it down to Stoke Newington Farmers' Market and a swift visit to Muck and Magic furnished me with a small leg joint.
Spring has leapt into summer at the market - there was so much great green produce around today, from salad leaves to my first broad beans of the summer from the lovely Sarah Green. Sarah sowed her bean seeds in January, so she's way ahead of me on the fruiting front. I love the way early broad beans are like over-protected babies, huddling in their duvet jackets of zippered and fur-lined pods. Sarah was also selling sweet williams, complementing my home-grown Ferdinand Pichard rose.
A quick trip to Wholefoods (previously known as Fresh and Wild) furnished me with cheese and a jar of za'atar from Zaytoun in...what should one call it? Palestine or occupied land? I don't know, but it's a herbal mix with a tang of the middle east.
On to the lamb recipe:

Roast lamb with potatoes

First make your marinade. Chop four or five garlic cloves and combine with oregano, thyme, black pepper, salt and olive oil. Give it a good bash with a pestle. Pour over your joint and leave for the lamb to soak up the herby goodness for a few hours.

When you're ready to get roasting, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8. In the meantime, slice potatoes thinly and, if you like, slice an onion too. Layer the onion and potato on the base of your oven tray and put the lamb on top. Combine the juice of two lemons with a small glass of white wine and pour over the lamb and veggies.

Slide into the oven, which you've knocked back to gas mark 5. Await the heavenly aroma - about an hour. Now you'll need to judge the done-ness of the lamb and the done-ness of the potatoes - the lamb gets there first. Remove the lamb to rest, and put the remaining veg on the top shelf of the oven to finish off.
Broad beans are my veg of choice and season. I'll serve them simply with a slavering of melted butter and chopped parsley.
Meanwhile, it turned into a lovely summer's day, and by 1430 I was at Duckett's Common, where fellow FoE friend Tamsin had been on duty.

Our big campaign at the moment is to persuade the council to go more green - we had a lot of support for signing postcards to councillors. I donned a tabard and helped out for an hour or so, while bumping into neighbourhood friends and contacts from Sustainable Haringey.
This year's fair was much better than last year's - a prime spot close to Wood Green was an excellent idea. This green dragon came floating past me, followed by an inspired kids' drum group.
All in all, a pretty good day.


mangocheeks said...


I love the way you described broad beans 'duvet jackets of zippered and fur-lined pods', so true. I think my broad beans wil be ready for picking next weekend.

I love za'tar, I buy the same brand from Palestine.

I'm a member of FoE, so it's good to hear what other members are doing from time to time, the magazine I get focuses just on Scotland stuff.

fran39 said...

Hi Mango - my broad beans have been devasted by black fly this year. Not sure why it's so bad...too much rain? Great to hear you're another FoE person - let me know what's happening in your neck of the woods.