D.Betts is exactly how you imagine an old school green grocer. A stall full of beautifully stacked vegetables on green fake grass. They have three stalls in the centre of the vegetable area of Coventry indoor Market, which has long been a favourite place of mine in the city centre. Most of the stalls these days are filled with exotic ingredients, but Betts pride themselves on getting their vegetables from a Cotswold grower, and trying to stick to seasonal produce wherever possible. This is a family business, and I was thrilled to find this picture of the stall in 1988 on their Facebook page!
The Facebook page has a full list every week of what is available on the stall, meaning that you can order your veg in advance, and either pick it up ready bagged up, or have it delivered straight to your house! (When you spend over £10)
I had a long list of items to choose from, and I had decided to check out some recipes before I ordered my box. I must admit, I have been rubbish recently, and have eaten a lot of ready meals and pasta, so was excited with the excuse to be a bit more adventurous with my cooking!
I had to go for Asparagus, as it is so amazing, one of my favourite vegetables. I love it with eggs, or wrapped in serrano ham or simply grilled. It is so easy to cook, and prepare, and although the real season short, I do try and avoid the forced out of season varieties that the supermarkets offer. The asparagus I got from the stall was slim and sweet. I snapped the base of the shaft off (it naturally breaks the tough base off so that you are left with the perfect bit of asparagus, on these it snapped less then an inch off, showing it is tender and young). The hardest bit about asparagus is choosing which way to eat it first!!
Scambled eggs and smoked salmon is a personal favourite, and is even better with the stunning asparagus! I also love it with soft boiled eggs instead of bready soldiers!
Another way I love to eat Asparagus is ribboned. Take a veg peeler, turn it in to ribbons, do the same with a carrot, and add to some rocket. Make a simple dressing of cider vinager, British rapeseed oil, lemon juice and pepper. Dress, and it makes a perfect side for sea bass or salmon!
Another ingredient I was very excited to see available on the stall was Rhubarb. Even more exciting, when I went to pick up my box, I found out that it was grown by the stall owner’s dad! Although the stems were small, they were vibrant red. I will have Rhubarb and Bramley Gin Liqueur this summer (just happens to be the flavour of the Chase summer flavour this year! Here are a couple of ideas for cocktails to be made with it! Check out this link for the full recipe! Click here to to see my recipe!
I could go on and on about my food I’ve made, but I will do one separate recipe posts later in the week. But I just wanted to say how wonderful all the items I recieved were, and how much I got! I was really impressed with not only the produce, but how nice the guy who runs the stall. He was very knowledgable, passionate about his produce, and I had a great chat with him. Definitely an all round wonderful experience!