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Here's what's in season at the farmers' market in September
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, you are basking in sunshine rather than the miserable grey cloudy days we've experiencing for most of August. September is the month for the Farmers Market. Richer foods and heartier dishes tempt us back into the kitchen to enjoy the harvest season. Itís the time to enjoy game, wonderful seafood and, here in the Garden of England, the finest apples and dessert pears. You can also still find end of the summer berries later plums and gages.
September is a good shellfish month, the game season is ramping up with wonderful selection of game birds, venison and rabbit. Venison is the perfect free-range meat: minimum food miles, low in cholesterol and full of useful vitamins. Lean and tender, it suits short cooking methods such as frying and grilling. Or for a real filling and simple dish try diced venison (or rabbit, or game birds) in a rich stew helped with plenty of red wine.
For a lighter meat, try guinea fowl. Cook in the same way as a small chicken, roast wrapped in streaky bacon, and enjoy the flavour, which is richer than chicken and subtly gamey.
If the weather is still holding and you can still BBQ. Forget burgers and sausages and be a bit more adventurous, try a boned shoulder or leg of lamb: leave overnight in a marinade for best results. Put the lamb on the on hottest area of the BBQ and cook for a few minutes each side, then move away to a lower heat for 10 minutes each side.
For vegetables, you'll find a great variety of tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn, peas, cauliflowers, runner beans and onions. Winter squashes and pumpkins have arrived and come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes all with different flavours and textures Ė try in soups, curries, gratins and risottos.
This is also the season for our local Kentish cobnuts and walnuts. try using cobnuts in Granola/Muesli for the perfect start to the day.
Tree fruits are at their best and juiciest so donít miss early apples, and pears, plums, damsons and greengages. You can make your own jams or, if you prefer, you will find an amazing choice of jams, marmalades and other preserves at most markets.
If watching budgets remember that cheaper cuts of meat such as belly pork, shin of beef and lamb shank (see recipe) all taste particularly good and tend to be easier to find at the market where meat producers use their skills to ensure the entire animal is prepared for home cooks to enjoy at its best with no waste.
Each month a different farmers' market is featured in Kent Life Magazine along with a seasonal recipe made with local produce HERE>
Why buy seasonal food?