The Beauty of Farmers markets

Why go to Farmers Markets? There are many reasons: You get to meet producers who actually make their products, there is a great community atmosphere, they have unique products, you meet interesting people, and you get to see great chefs cook market food (well you do at our market anyway). But my number one reason is actually a lot simpler: Fresh vegetables.

I made a post on my Facebook page about 1 dollar broccoli and it went crazy. I was walking past the Country Fresh stall at the Hobsonville Point Farmers Market and they had a sign saying $1 broccoli. This was the greenest, freshest broccoli I have ever seen. I was told it was pulled out of the ground THAT morning! 4 hours old broccoli. Speaking to the producer, he is very modest and explains to me it’s nothing special. It is the same as the produce the supermarkets get but just a couple of weeks (yes weeks) fresher.

That for me sums up the markets, the freshest and most cared for produce you can get. With a bit of pre-planning it really isn’t that hard to do your shopping at the markets and then go to the supermarket for your toiletries etc.

As always if you have an opinion I would love to hear it and you can get in touch through or

Kevin Blakeman, Demonstration Chef at the Hobsonville Point Farmers Market.

Using the whole broccoli – Soup, stalks and florets!

This will make 3 different types of broccoli to be served as a trio or you can serve parts on their own.


Ingredients - Serves 4

2 Lemons, zested

2 Oranges, zested

100g Parsley, finely chopped

200g Panko Breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking oil on hand

100g Parsley

3-4 Heads of broccoli depending on size


200g Mascarpone

100g Butter





  • 1. Zest lemons and oranges, chop parsley then add to the breadcrumbs, season and set aside.
  • 2. Cut the florets from the stalk and divide into two separate bowls. Cut the ends off the stalk to have the stalk 10-15cm long, cut the stalk in half lengthways, season and coat in oil.
  • (You’ll need a grill or BBQ for the stalk and two pots of boiling water.)
  • 3. Grill the stalk on a medium heat continuously until it is tender. Will take upto 15 minutes turning halfway. You will realise it’s the most underrated part of the broccoli! This part is ready to serve.
  • 4. Place the two bowls of florets into separate water pots and boil until you can easily put a knife through them but do not allow them to lose their colour.
  • 5. Remove the florets from the pots reserving the water from one. Season the broccoli.
  • 6. Blend half of the broccoli with 2 cups of the water. When it has a soup consistency, blend in the mascarpone and season again if required. Your soup is ready to serve.
  • 7. Put the second half of broccoli into a bowl with butter. Finish with the breadcrumbs you made earlier and serve.