Ripe Vegetable Market at Dubai Garden Centre

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The weekly market now being held at Dubai Garden Centre is a hugely welcome addition to the city; you only need see the happy faces of those milling around the various stalls to realise that.

We will be covering the Ripe Market in full in Arts & Life, but having returned home from my visit with a selection box of organic vegetables (Dh80 or Dh130 depending on size), it seemed fitting to use some of them to make lunch.

Until the weather cools down the variety of produce is somewhat limited, but nevertheless my box still contains courgettes, eggs, mushrooms, limes, a big bunch of both basil and parsley and a few peppers and potatoes.

I decided to make a marinated pepper salad, following a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, who is a master at creating interesting vegetable dishes. His second cookbook

is one of my favourites.

After first roasting the peppers in the oven until soft and slightly shriveled around the edges, you tip them into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave for twenty minute or so. Thanks to the trapped steam, the skins can then be peeled off with relative ease; bar blasting them with a blow torch, I think this is the most hassle free way of skinning peppers.

The peppers are then sliced into strips and soaked in a marinade made from balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water, a touch of sugar and a finely sliced garlic clove.  Full recipe

Ottolenghi serves his peppers with watercress, capers and shavings of pecorino, which I am sure is delicious. I worked with what was in the veg box and fridge though, which meant parsley and basil leaves and a generous scattering of feta cheese. It was pretty good.

Have you been to the market and if so, what do you think?

The Ripe market is held at Dubai Garden Centre on Saturdays, from 9.30am to 1pm.