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Fresh produce in our store has travelled

#lessthan100km

It means less food miles, and a lower carbon footprint

Our platform

Is like a Farmers Market on your phone

You can shop anytime you want

How it works

  • Shop from a range of local produce grown or made in the Northern Valleys region
  • Pay online or in-store. Our producers get paid directly when you make a purchase which helps grow our regional community!
  • Collect your order from our store at 29 Binda Place, Bindoon or get it delivered!

Our Producers

The people who bring you the produce! Almost everything you can imagine is grown right here in the Northern Valleys region by farmers like these ones. Some are artisans working on a small scale and some are large producers who have grown their ideas into big business. All are offering produce which is good, clean and fair – the slow food way.

Classic moussaka recipe

Classic moussaka recipe

I’ve always found the idea of Moussaka a bit scary — it seems so labour intensive and I admit I cast it in the same pot as lasagna — something busy people have no time for!

However, a customer in the store recently suggested it’s a perfect Locavore meal — and so it is! It makes excellent use of the prolific eggplants in season at the moment, and along with good quality mince and some local goat cheese can be made with primarily local ingredients, and can be gluten free! It’s also a perfect dish to make and freeze into meal-size portions, so it’s worth the effort — at least during eggplant season.

I tackled the recipe in four parts. Prepping the eggplant, making the mince, the dreaded béchamel sauce then assembly and baking.  I cooked the eggplant on a sandwich press — a fabulous time saver  — and I made extra for salads. 

 

Ingredients:

4 x eggplant

1 bunch of spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

1 x onion

500 g beef mince ( lamb is traditional) 

200 ml passata (or two cups of blitzed tomatoes)

2 cloves garlic

splash of wine * optional

salt and pepper

60 g butter

5 tbsp plain flour

2 1/2 cups milk 

1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)

1/2 cup hard cheese, grated (I used Local Goat farmhouse)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Part 1 - Veggies

Slice the eggplant into 2 cm slices. I like to do it crossways so it makes circles. Lay out on the on bench and sprinkle generously with salt. Allow to sweat for at least half an hour — moisture droplets will form on on top and you can blot them with a paper towel.

Then grill the slices on a sandwich press or fry them in a frying pan.

When lightly brown, remove and set aside to cool. If making extra store in a container and douse with olive oil.

I also fried up a bunch of chopped spinach. Lots of traditional recipes use sliced potato too. You can easily add a layer of whatever veggies you have on hand.

Part 2 - Meat Sauce

Finely chop onion and garlic and saute  in a large frying pan with some oil. Add mince, breaking it up with a fork so it evenly cooks. Add a splash of wine then cook it out before adding the passata or blitzed tomatoes. Simmer on low until the sauce is nice and thick.

Part 3 - Béchamel sauce

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute until it forms a paste or roux, stirring constantly. I like to use a wooden spoon or spatula for this. 

Warm the milk a little in the microwave to take the chill off, then slowly add to the roux. Stir regularly for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens nicely. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated cheese, seasoning well with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs in. Cover with lid until required. *Note the egg step can be skipped although it does help to make it set and hold nicely later on.

Part 4 - Assembly

Line the baking dish you plan to use with a sheet of baking paper. I used a 25 x 25 cm casserole dish.

Arrange the eggplant slices first along the base. Squish together so it makes a solid layer. Then spoon over the meat sauce in a 1 cm layer. Layer again with eggplant and meat. Finish with the spinach layer then the bechamel sauce.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 30-40 min at 180 C or until golden brown on top. 

Read more
Baked Stuffed Zucchini witrh Black Barley and Feta Cheese

Baked stuffed zucchini

The Locavore store is teaming with Zucchini at the moment – largely thanks to the efforts of our youngest producer, Russell Oversby.
Read more
Locavore vegetable passata...

Locavore vegetable passata...

Passata is a traditional Italian sauce made from tomatoes — perhaps with the addition of onion, garlic or herbs for flavour. It forms the base of so many dishes — pizza, pasta, parmigana — you name it! A dollup of passata makes it a meal.

Of course you can buy ready-made tomato sauces from the supermarket— and I won’t deny they are very inexpensive. Canned tomatoes themselves are outrageously cheap, but they do come at a cost — and it’s our environment paying the price.

At the crux of the argument for a sustainable food future is the question of food miles. The distance food travels from it’s origin, to storage, to a supermarket and ultimately to your plate. Choosing food which has travelled less food miles (or kilometres) is a really easy way everyone can contribute to a sustainable food future and ease the burden food production has on our environment.

Tinned Italian tomatoes are a terrible culprit — a can which has not only travelled all the way from Italy, but which has required an unneccesary amount of energy to process and pack and creates a waste product (albeit recyclable). I know they are super cheap, but really, seriously just not cool when we have tomato growers right here in the region (Trandos Tomatoes in Neerabup and Beermullah Produce to name two), and throughout Australia!

This recipe can be made entirely using ingredients grown within our region — and is a great alternative to using imported tinned tomatoes or processed sauces, so you can rest easy in the knowledge you are supporting local farmers while providing a healthy meal for yourself and your family!

INGREDIENTS

2 onions

1 head of garlic

1/2 kilo eggplant

Generous splash of olive oil

2 kilos of tomatoes

1 kilo of squash

1 zucchini

Salt to taste

METHOD

Chop onion, garlic and eggplant and saute in a large pot with olive oil and salt for a few minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Roughly chop the rest of the vegetables and add to pot, keeping tomatoes until last. Cook down over a low heat until all the veg are cooked through.

Blend thoroughly with a stick blender until you have a smooth puree.

Decant into appropriately sized containers and freeze for later.

Use over pasta, on a pizza base or as a replacement in any recipe which requires tinned tomatoes.

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