I love a good farmers market, filled with fresh seasonal produce is not only healthy but cost efficient too. The last time in Greece I stumbled upon a Greek farmers market only by accident after exiting the local grocery and heading in the wrong direction. I am however a man who will ask for directions but in Greece it’s pretty pointless as I can’t even pronounce my street or town so what’s the use. Just for the record I’ve since written the address in my cell so if I ever need it I have it.
This Greek farmers market is probably a mile long, maybe longer. Many venders have similar products, only some are much nicer looking than others. There are of course the venders who have a niche. For example I only recall one place selling dried beans of a huge variety. There are maybe two, three at the very most of fish mongers. The same goes for olives, there are only two that I had seen that carry a vast variety of olives and it is hard to beat Greek olives. Nonetheless the fresh fruits, vegetables and other great assortment of produce including spices are something I really enjoy. This market is only open on Mondays and I was very much looking forward to my return to Athens to get my fill of this Greek farmers market, a food lovers delight.
Yesterday was my first Monday here in Athens so I set off on foot to explore the Greek farmers market but I always have my little routine. I stop at the local cafe for an espresso, maybe two, then I head to the grocery store to get just a
few things. The reason is here in the area I’m staying they allow you to take the shopping cart home to take your groceries and they have people that drive around, load them up and return them to the store. And being I stock up for the entire week on fresh produce, that cart comes in mighty handy.
So I grabbed a few items, five to be exact then headed to that old familiar place all excited. As I turned up the street I was perplexed, it wasn’t there! What happened? Is today Monday, I asked myself? Checked my cell and sure enough I had the right day. So what happened, where did it go? Fortunately for me someone noticed my confused look, spoke to me in Greek and I simply said sorry, only English.
To my delight they spoke English well enough to tell me the market is across the main street in the fall and winter. I smiled with excitement, said thank you and off I went even more excited because now it’s only 2 blocks from where I’m staying.
I walked almost the entire length of the market, loading up my cart as I went along with potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, celery, carrots, arugula, olives, garlic, lemons, onions, lentils and rice. I even scored a fresh mint plant for only $1 euro which will last forever. Oh and of course I bought some cucumbers and tomatoes. One cannot go to a market in Greece without the necessary ingredients to make a Greek salad. Well you can, but they just might ask you to leave the country.
Last night I made only an arugula salad with fresh tomato and tonight I am making lamb ragu with
mint over pasta. A recipe I created with leftover lamb my last visit here in Athens that was a great hit. And being there was lamb leftover from the first night I arrived I didn’t want it to go to waste. Tomorrow I am venturing out into the city to have dinner and I cannot wait. My body seems to have finally adjusted to the time change. Either that or the coffee is truly serving it’s purpose.
I have a few new dishes I’ll be making this week or next and of course I’ll be sharing them with you.