La Spezia market was alive and kicking early on Saturday morning when I went to stock up with some fresh veggies and fruit for the weekend. It was great to get there again and walk through looking at all the wonderful produce waiting to be bought, cleaned and cooked or just eaten as is. The strawberries and peaches just piled up next to one another with melons, lumquats, apricots lying in waiting to be gently placed in paper bags weighed and taken home. I was in my element wandering around picking up what I needed. 6 large bunches of basil to make pesto, kilos of apricots for fruit salad in the morning and maybe an apricot sorbet if I have any left. Plenty of peaches, nectarines as I just devour these as they are so delicious eaten straight. Cherries ready for eating but maybe I should try out that recipe I found of cherry and chocolate cup cakes. Berries which are just so sweet and always good on their own, in a savoury salad or fruit salad. The young salads are all waiting to be taken and cleaned and tossed with other fresh salad vegetables and enjoyed. 

Fresh Anchovies

Fresh Anchovies La Spezia Market

In the middle of the market there was a crowd of people all watching and then taking part in the salting of anchovies. They are prevalent around these waters and are loved. The one village Camogli is the famous anchovy port, where you can always eat them. I adore fresh anchovies fried or marinated and was taken in by the crowd to watch as anchovies were headed and gutted and then rolled in salt and then put in large glass jars and covered in salt.

You went to the main table where the anchovies were lying in crates waiting to be bought together with the jars and salt, then there were plastic containers and sieves for you to use and partake in the salting.

Preparing the anchovies

Preparing the anchovies to be salted

There was a lot of chatter and laughter as people took part or just watched as I did, envious of the time these people had to be able to do this.  Unfortunately I did not have time to buy a kilo or more of the anchovies and salt them myself but maybe another time I will. I did however buy some that were already prepared for me to fry up quickly and sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest with some olive oil. Delicious and so quick to prepare.

I also bought some King fish which I baked in the oven with olive oil and lemon juice and then tossed with boiled new potatoes, parsley, more olive oil and lemon juice, and plenty of seasoning. I topped the dish with freshly boiled eggs and served it with a tossed salad of different leaves. A great light and fresh Saturday lunch for the crew who were hard at work so that we could have a day off on Sunday before we start early again on Monday hard at it so we can leave La Spezia on Tuesday after my final shop… excitement is building for our season to begin