The simple things in life, are the best things...
A visit to a regional area is a great place to stock up on local produce and seasonal fruit and vegetables. It is worth hunting down local farms to directly purchase from the farmers. Over the last few days, I've been able to find a delectable array of apples, citrus fruit, a wide selection of vegetables, freshly laid eggs, apiary direct honey (at a fraction of city prices !), nuts, seeds, dried fruits and more. I was particularly impressed with the cauliflower cut straight from the vegie patch - it was the freshest, most fragrant and best looking cauli I've ever seen ! Never thought cauliflower could be so exciting ! Some will be made into a cream cauliflower soup (yes of course - homemade stock) and drizzled with a little truffle oil.
I came across some luscious olives at a roadside stand. These had been grown and partially pickled by an Italian family. Maria explained to me that she had prepared these with a little chilli and some fennel seeds - delicious in a simple tomato based pasta. I whizzed up some of these beauties into a tapenade, using the following ingredients:
Olives, freshly crushed garlic, few capers and a drizzle of good quality olive oil - whiz these together in the small bowl of a food processor. Add a few drops of lemon juice and some cracked pepper. Add olive oil or lemon juice according to taste / desired consistency.
This will keep for about a week in the fridge. Serve on bruschetta toast with a glass of wine or stir into pasta.