It’s a beautiful drive to Lourensford Farm in Somerset West for their monthly farmer’s market weekend. But once you enter those gates, the view is just breathtaking: perfectly kept green vineyards surrounded by the most majestic blue mountains. It’s really spectacular.
Once parked on a shady patch of grass, we made our way over to the coffee stand on Saturday morning and ordered refreshing iced coffees to sip on while strolling through the food isles. I’ve been there many times before (my brother-in-law is the local rainbow trout farmer, and I have to say his trout is epic) so I kind of knew what to expect. But this time I found 2 new products that are just fantastic. Firstly, the duck liver paté from Espey’s. I am a huge fan of liver paté, and often make my own chicken liver variation with lots of sherry, onions, fresh thyme, butter and cream. The best duck liver pate I’ve tasted came from Cotage Fromage’s deli at Vrede en Lust (Simondium). But these guys from Espey’s gave it a really good go. It tasted extremely smooth, slightly sweet and with just the right amount of seasoning. Fantastic on freshly toasted ciabatta, spread thickly of course.
The other find of the day were the glass jars of slow roasted cherry tomatoes in a spicy vinaigrette by Pronto Mama. The label says “100% natural; preservative free”, and you can really taste that. It is simply PACKED with flavour: intensely sweet, tangy and mildly spicy. I bought the “Greek” option, which has added olives and rosemary. The guy behind the counter gave me some ideas on how to use it (with your favourite cheese and biscuits, tossed with pasta and parmesan shavings, on a fresh garden salad, added to roasted veggies on piled high onto toasted bruschetta with brie). I usually have a big problem using “ready-made” sauces of any kind. I call it cheating. But this is different. It tastes like you got a special under-the-counter take-away from your favourite fine dining restaurant to secretly devour at home, because you are a valued regular guest and you kind of know the chef personally.
So I rolled out some fresh homemade pasta dough, cut it into tagliatelle strips, boiled it for 2 minutes and piled the jarred tomatoes onto it (this stuff is quite potent, so use sparingly). I added a glug of Morgenster extra virgin olive oil and shaved grana padano, and topped it with fresh basil leaves from my garden. Bravo! Pronto Mama, I’ll be back next month for more.