I recently discovered that a new farmers market had started near my home, in the little enclave of Telegraph Hill. Not one to miss a chance to go to a farmers market, I duly ventured there on a gorgeous Saturday morning (the market is on the third Saturday of every month in case you are wondering). When I got there, there were only about five stalls, but what this market lacked in quality was made up for by the quality. There was a stall selling lots of lovely veg from Kent (I duly bought far too much asparagus in a fit of excitement). There was also a fish stall manned by a fisherman looking man, who was selling all sorts of lovely, spankingly fresh fish from Essex. The fish that particularly caught my eye were the herring. I adore herring. It is probably one of the main reasons I like Scandinavia so much. These herring looked very fresh and were a good size. I snaffled four for a couple of quid and got them home.
My immediate thoughts turned to something Northern European in style. Surprisingly, RIchard Corrigan is a big fan of food from this region. I always thought him a more Ireland/British/classic French kind of guy, but he does love his herrings and crispbread. In his cookbook The Clatter of Forks and Spoons, I spied a recipe for a German potato salad, and could only think this would go perfectly with the oiliness of the herring.
I’m not going to provide a recipe for the herring as it’s so simple. This was just a case of stuffing the cavity of the whole herring with some sliced lemon, dill and parsley stalks, seasoning with salt and pepper, drizzling over some oil and sticking in an oven (at about 200 degrees C) for about 15-20 mins.
The German potato salad was a great combination of new potatoes (bought from the Kent stall at the market), sliced onions cooked down in cider vinegar,mustard and chopped dill. The recipe specifies wholegrain, but I only had dijon to hand. This piquant, vinegary potatoes worked perfectly to cut through the oily flesh of the herring. This was a perfect Saturday lunch.
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