Cime di Rapa
I recently went to Spa Terminus near Bermondsey to research an article on seasonal produce for Time Out. Spa Terminus is home to about 25 thriving food producers and businesses located under the railway arches for train lines into London Bridge. One of the producers on my list was Natoora – they source fruit and veg of the highest quality and supply many of London’s top restaurants, including Theo Randall and and River Cafe. It was toward the end of November and Natoora had plenty of truly seasonal offerings in stock. I was after the Delica super-sweet pumpkins, the beautifully tender – but very spiky – fresh artichokes and bundles of cime di rapa all from their select Italian farmers. I’m happy to pursue obscure ingredients, but in 20 years of cooking, this is the first bunch of cime di rapa I’ve ever seen. So when we hear chefs nonchalantly suggesting on the telly that you can, of course, make this with ‘cime di rapa’ as if anybody could walk round to their local greengrocer and pick up a bunch – well, now know the truth: I was only able to make this due to the folk at Natoora. It’s getting easier to track down Natoora supplies, they have shops in Chiswick, Sloan Square and Selfridges (and Spa Terminus on Saturdays), but are also available through Ocado and Wholefood Market. Check their website here.