A trip to the markets and a tomato salad.

(Beets at the growers market)

The best market in town only rolls by once a month, and I’m a little ashamed to say, I hardly ever visit it. Something to do with never quite rising early enough to get to the stalls before they’ve either nearly sold out or completely packed up. Favourable Spring weather last weekend however, forced my hand (and my alarm clock).

My market bag filled up very quickly with farm eggs for a cake, strawberries to snack on, bunches of pungent herbs, baby tomatoes bright and colourful like little jewels, and a bundle of Easter egg radishes. The trip left me very inspired and I couldn’t wait to come home and start cooking with my purchases. Oh wait, did I say cook? Actually, I sliced up the tomatoes, made a quick dressing and in no time at all, was tucking into an early lunch.

(Tomato and mint salad with a tamarind dressing)

Spring never tasted so good.

Tamarind dressing for a tomato salad :
(serves 4; recipe by Neil Perry)

25g tamarind pulp
2 tablespoons light palm sugar
15ml light soy sauce
60ml extra virgin olive oil

Combine the tamarind pulp and 1 tablespoon of hot water in a bowl. Stand for 10 minutes or until soft, then push through a fine sieve, discarding seeds and set aside.

Combine the sugar with 2 teaspoons of water in a saucepan and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat or until caramelised, add tamarind water and soy sauce. Cool to room temperature, then gradually add olive oil, whisking continuously until emulsified. Makes about ½ cup.

(To serve, slice tomatoes and toss through with plenty of salt, pepper, torn mint leaves and the tamarind dressing. Chilli addicts may want to throw in some sliced chillis into the mix as well.)

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  1. Rosa said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    A marvelous salad and lovely market clicks!



  2. leaf (the indolent cook) said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Great easy lunch! I don’t eat a lot of raw tomatoes but I might just be persuaded with that dressing.

  3. Laura said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    Somehow I can’t even imagine how tamarind and tomatoes would taste together. Probably because tamarind is something I always had as a syrup with ice.

    The salad looks delicious!

  4. Yuri - Chef Pandita said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    So curious about this tamarind dressing! Lovely pics 🙂

  5. the caked crusader said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

    The early bird catches the worm!
    Love how in your photos from the market you can see how early it is – there’s a special quality to the light at that time of day

  6. njba said,

    November 15, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    Which market is this?

  7. Ayden @ Himalayan Salt said,

    November 15, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    @ the caked crusader: going for a run at that time is a great thing as well 🙂

  8. Hannah said,

    November 17, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    I am intensely jealous of your spring-like weather and stunning little tomatoes… That salad is the stuff that wintery dreams are made of! At times like this, I sure wish I was on your side of the globe. It just seems so much more inviting.

  9. Sarah said,

    November 17, 2011 @ 6:13 am

    My kind of lunch! It looks tremendously delicious! 🙂

  10. InTolerantChef said,

    November 19, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    SO worth the early morning! Looks like you got the best on offer, and that salad dressing sounds amazing, yumm…

  11. steph (whisk/spoon) said,

    November 28, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    i so miss that market. when we were in sydney, i’d drag my husband’s butt out of bed every time it rolled around (the prospects of grilled sausage on a roll and a flat white made it better). seeing those gorgeous tomatoes makes me dread the cold weather coming at us in the states.

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