Whenever I come to East Nara & Nabari, I realize how fresh the air is and how clean the water is. Even I, who live in a small city, think that way, let alone someone who lives in a big city like Tokyo.
Today, I am talking about locally grown vegetables (and other local products) from East Nara & Nabari. Imagine how carefully the vegetables are grown by local farmers with such fresh and clean air, water, and soil. They should definitely taste different!
It’s called “Soninowa Marché”
I had wanted to visit this small farmers’ market in Soni Village since summer. I heard this market selling locally grown vegetables, bread, sweets, food and such, is getting more and more people to come. And finally, I had a chance to visit there the other day.
The farmers’ market in Soni, “Soninowa Marché,” is held every Wednesday at “Soninowa Kitchen ‘Katte’” across from the Village Office, which can be a landmark to get there.
Okay, we arrived! There were already many customers. Wow.
Soninowa Kitchen ‘Katte’ is a shared kitchen renovated from an agro-processing facility. Look how cool it turned out. I like the contrast of the robust concrete block walls with the gentle feel of the wooden doors and window frames.
Veggies are all fresh and crispy
Let’s check what they have.
I wanted to buy everything they had, but I decided to get a bag of mixed baby leaves and a head of romaine lettuce.
They’re huge and cheap!
The baby leaves were packed densely in a bag. The romaine lettuce was so big that you would think it was Chinese cabbage. You would rarely find that size of lettuce anywhere else in Japan.
They also have sweets, deli, as well as local products other than food.
You can eat snacks at Soninowa Marché, too
I got a little hungry, and I felt like a little snack. Various local and neighboring shops sell different snacks every week at the marché. They had fruit sandwiches and waffle fries on that day. They looked sooo good that I couldn’t help buying some.
I got the fries, and May, who I came here with, ordered fruit sandwiches. It’s good that there are tables and chairs outside, so you can eat the snacks right away.
So I made salads
I made salads with the vegetables I bought at the marché.
Here’s the first dish. Baby leaf and grape tomato salad (the tomatoes here are not from the marché since all the tomatoes were unfortunately sold out when I got there). The dressing is simply extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice with pulp, salt, and pepper.
Hmmm. Very good!
I still had a lot of baby leaves left. I could have made an extra dish with them. Maybe a pizza with baby leaves and prosciutto next time?
And, the second dish. Yes, a real caesar salad with romaine lettuce! I wanted to make it as authentic as possible, so I searched for recipes in English and made my own dressing.
I made croutons from leftover bread. I know there are a lot of different recipes, but I made my dressing with anchovy, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and egg yolk. Of course, I used real Parmesan cheese.
What do you think? Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It was actually delicious!
You can tell how good it was by my husband and daughter’s reactions. They wanted more and asked, “Where did you buy the lettuce?” They usually avoid leaf vegetables, but they finished what was on the plate so quickly this time.
Soninowa Marché is open every Wednesday (schedule subject to change). For more information, check their Instagram account below or contact us.