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French Bread topped with Smoked Garlic & Matakana Markets

There is not a week that goes by that I don’t think how lucky I am to live in New Zealand. When I first moved here, being a girl who had lived in cities all her life (Liverpool, London & Frankfurt), I used to miss the retail therapy and the accessibility of products and produce. Now I don’t really care for that stuff, I prefer to spend my spare time as you know at the beach surfing, walking, playing golf or hanging out with friends locally, eating at each others houses. I also love the fact that NZ is still very seasonal with their produce and we generally buy what is grown locally rather than imported. Over the ten years I have lived here, small farmers markets have started to appear and are becoming very popular, Matakana Farmers Market is one of them. It is an hours drive away for us but it is well worth it, the trip itself is very scenic and there are plenty of things to do on the way if you want to make it a day out.

Matakana Village not only has a wonderful Saturday market with locally grown produce and handmade goodies, it also has wonderful cafes, patisserie, boutique shops, art galleries and the area is literally ‘littered’ with vineyards. A reason in itself to visit the area. We stopped off on the way home for lunch at Heron’s Flight Vineyard Cafe and the food was fabulous and executed with love and attention to details (sorry I never get to photo my food as I am always too excited to eat it).

While at the market I bought a bag of this beautiful smoked garlic, which just had to be eaten pure to taste the smokiness of it rather than in a dish where other flavours might mask the taste. So I whipped up some French Bread that weekend (well over two days if you know Peter Reinhart’s recipes) and put my garlic in the oven to roast for 15 minutes. I literally mashed the warm garlic onto the warm French bread, drizzled some good quality local olive oil over it and dusting of salt & cracked pepper. The perfect snack with a glass of New Zealand wine of course!

Unfortunately I had only taken my wide angle lens with me and was unable to take lovely shots of the produce but did manage a few of the area. One in particular is the incredibly ‘arty’ toilets they have there!

Matakana Village and the region is well worth a visit if you are ever this way!

Here is the recipe for Peter’s French bread

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. this is my type of snack – but i use about 8 cloves of garlic per meal. fabulous!

    February 6, 2010
  2. oh, how i ‘d love to take those delicious things! i wonder if there are any gluten-free french bread, I wonder?

    February 6, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      I haven’t dabbled much with gluten free flours but I wonder if Helen from MyTartelette has as she is creating a lot of gluten free recipes at present?

      February 8, 2010
  3. You are indeed lucky to be living close to a market with fresh produce such as these. We would never be able to get things like smoked garlic here and lately,my own curiosity on garlic has been piqued by this black garlic sold at some fine supermarkets here in Singapore. They have been dubbed black gold and are ridiculously expensive for a few cloves of garlic. And your photos are beautiful…

    February 8, 2010
  4. Bev #

    I adore garlic bread, but smoked garlic bread I think would be absolute heaven! I am going to make a point of going to Matakana when I am next up there. Perhaps, in the meantime, I could try to smoke some of my own homegrown garlic in the little smoker we have(?) I, too, would be incredibly interested in any gluten free recipes – especially in the form of an edible bread!! :-)

    February 10, 2010

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