In the last number of years I have really come to appreciate the value of well produced, good quality food. Lucky for us in Ireland there is an abundance of food producers that are truly dedicated to developing products that are held in high esteem world wide. We are blessed in this country to have fabulous land and in turn our animals are served an excellent diet, which results in premium meat and milk. The quality of Irish cheeses, yogurts, butter and meat all goes back to the land and how well that our animals are treated by the farmers.
As well as some well known Irish companies there is now an increasing amount of Irish artisan products appearing in our shops. Indeed these artisan products can be expensive but there is little comparison between them and their supermarket equivalent. It has never been more important than now for us to shop local and buy Irish. International studies have confirmed that 45c of every euro spent with local companies re-circulates back into the local economy. There was a fantastic campaign last year asking us to substitute even one product in our basket for an Irish equivalent. It has really made me think, so now when there is an Irish alternative to something on my list, I generally pick it up.
handful grated cheddar
1. Preheat an oven to 200 ̊C/ 430 ̊F/gas mark 7.
2. Brush a swiss roll tin or baking tray generously with olive oil.
3. Sieve the plain flour, salt and the bread soda into a big bowl.
5. Keep mixing like this until you have a soft dough. Do not knead it but work it very gently to bring it together.
6. Transfer to a floured surface and roll it out to about 35x20cms (14x8inches), and transfer it to the oiled tray.
7. Drizzle the top with some more olive oil and sprinkle evenly with the cheese and onions.
8. Put it in the oven and cook for 18-25 minutes, depending on how thick it is.
9. When cooked, it should feel firm in the centre and be gorgeous and golden brown on top.
10. Transfer it to a wire rack and cool for a couple of minutes, then cut it into squares and serve.