Author Jenny Linford, a High Barnet resident, is a regular shopper at Barnet Market, where she enjoys shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and fish and seafood from Adie’s stall. One of her cookbooks, The London Cookbook (Metro Publications, £12.99), features an interview with Rita (a previous Barnet Market stallholder, now retired) reminiscing about Alan (her husband) taking her to Billingsgate Market. Here are three recipes from The London Cookbook, each of which uses ingredients easily found at Barnet Market.


Summer Smoothie

Serves 4

In summertime, when London’s street markets are full of abundant, cheap seasonal fresh fruit like strawberries, home-made smoothies make a great breakfast drink.

Juice of 2 oranges
400 g (14 oz) strawberries
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp wheatgerm
1 tbsp honey
6 tbsp natural yoghurt

Place the orange juice, strawberries, banana, wheatgerm, honey and yoghurt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve at once.

Sweet Potato Bubble and Squeak
Serves 4

Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish, combining leftover cooked potato with cabbage. Adding in sweet potato gives the dish a lovely colour and subtle sweetness.

450 g (1 lb) orange-fleshed sweet potato
salt and freshly ground pepper
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
freshly grated nutmeg
450 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and chopped
splash of milk
1 small cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped

Peel the cube the sweet potato, dropping it at once into cold water to prevent it discolouring. Boil the sweet potato in salted water until tender; drain and mash with half the butter. Season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Meanwhile, boil the potato in salted water until tender; drain and mash with butter and milk, seasoning with freshly ground pepper.
Steam the cabbage until just tender. Mix together the mashed sweet potato, potato and cabbage. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add in the onion and fry until softened. Add in the sweet potato mixture, patting down. Fry until browned on both sides. Serve at once.

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

Fishcakes are a great British dish. Using smoked haddock makes for particularly tasty results, with the sweetness of the cherry tomato sauce providing a nice contrast to the saltiness of the haddock.

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) natural smoked haddock fillet
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp milk
pinch of saffron threads, finely ground
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 shallot, finely chopped
beaten egg, for coating
matzo meal, for coating
sunflower oil, for shallow-frying

Cherry Tomato Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
a handful of basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper

First, prepare the fishcakes. Poach the smoked haddock in a pan of simmering water until the fish turns opaque. Remove the smoked haddock with a slotted spoon and flake the flesh, discarding any skin and bone.

Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until tender; drain. Meanwhile, gently heat the milk then mix in the saffron. Add the saffron milk and butter to the drained potatoes and mash thoroughly, seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Shape the mixture into 8 even-sized fishcakes and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, to firm them up.

Dip each fishcake in beaten egg, then coat thoroughly in matzo meal. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Fry the fishcakes until golden on all sides and thoroughly heated through.

Meanwhile, make the cherry tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add in the onion and garlic and fry until softened and fragrant. Add in the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and basil leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve the fishcakes with the cherry tomato sauce on the side.


Following on from Jenny’s excellent recipes, here are two straightforward ones suitable for you if you are just cooking for yourself:

Mediterranean Fish

200 gms cod or haddock
1 onion
2 tomatoes
lemon juice
parsley (not essential)
herbs (not essential)
garlic (if you want)
Chop the onion finely and fry with chopped garlic and parsley in olive oil. Add quartered tomatoes and fry for a few more minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of water, a squeeze of lemon juice, herbs, seasonings and finally the fish. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the fish is tender.

Tomato bake

3 large tomatoes (or equivalent number of smaller ones)
2 eggs
Bread crumbs
Lightly grease a small baking dish with margarine. Lay tomato slices on bottom of baking dish, break an egg over the slices, then more tomatoes slices, break the second egg, sprinkle pepper and finally cover the top with bread crumbs with dashes of margarine. Place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until surface is baked.