While I'm sometimes pressed for time meeting deadlines, I now find that as I'm working several days a week I'm enjoying cooking and planning my meals a bit more on the days when I am at home in a way that I haven't since I lived in London. I'm pretty sure this chalks up to where I buy my ingredients. When I was living in London, as a Borough Market columnist I was there all the time, as well as picking up the odd bits of pieces at other stores I came to love around the city, such as Daylesford Organic in Notting Hill. Unfortunately, a lot to do with convenience, moving out of the city I became more and more reliant on supermarkets.
Now, when I'm in the office on a Monday, and I know there is something I want to make on a Tuesday or Wednesday, or on a Friday for the weekend, during my lunch hour I can take a walk to Deal High Street, which has the most wonderful selection of little independent shops, bakeries and delis. I've already become well acquainted with their not one, but two greengrocers, and I need to find my favourite out of the two butchers, and two fishmongers I now have to choose from, that simply would have involved so much more forward planning for me to access in the past. As well as fetching a little bit of what I need, I've been spotting new seasonal ingredients inspiring new dishes, and making me excited about cooking again in a different way.
For my Borough Market column this Autumn we're returning to my usual theme of easy, good value and simple recipes that can be made by anyone with limited space, time and kitchen equipment that I took a little break from this Summer while I was cooking up dishes inspired by the month I spend in Los Angeles in the Spring by way of a few al-fresco dinner ideas, and I was putting together outdoor spreads perfect for an English Summer for Market Life. First up, we have a classic Eggy Bread with, in lieu of ketchup, grilled cherry tomatoes, perfect from the market, on from your garden or your local greengrocers.
Such a simple dish that is a family favourite to throw together at the weekend for any meal of the day is elevated by using leftover French baguette instead of a farmhouse loaf. We always make this when there is leftover French bread, be it from the French deli on Deal High Street when I've picked one up for lunch, when I've brought one home from Borough with me on a trip up to London, or for breakfast at my parents home in Brittany. As well as being a bread with beautiful flavour, it does not soak up too much of the cooking oil, making it always crisp and eggy, without resembling fried bread too much.
For my full recipe and method, as well as to read this months column head click through to head over to the Borough Market blog. I actually have October's recipe cooking away on the AGA as I type (I'm getting ahead!) and that is a twist on an old favourite, and is again something I'm super excited to share with you, involving duck eggs, fresh beetroot and a lot of flat leaf parsley. Also, remember if you make any of my recipes and post them to Instagram, remember to use the hashtag #rachelphipps - I'd love to see!