Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This Week's Market Bounty - Cauliflower, Beets, Salmon ....

I can't quite believe it's Tuesday already. It seems like only yesterday that I went to the Farmers Market and picked up all the wonderful goodies you see here. It was around 7 a.m. when we got there on Saturday morning. The sun barely showing itself...in other words, it felt like night, but there was already too long a line up at the Boulangerie La Vendienne. Not a problem because I love Julien's Forester and Rosemary with Olive breads.

The Forester bread is a multigrain bread, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. I love the pine nuts that add a wonderful dimension, especially when toasted. It's my favorite of all the delicious breads Julien's produces. Somehow it reminds me of Montreal rye bread in texture (with a few added surprises like the pine nuts).

That said, the rosemary & olive bread is perfect for this appetizer of Grilled Haloumi on Toast.

They were still setting up the Eldridge Farm stand (I think that's the name. It's the first stall on your left if you come in using the entrance near Julien's and the creperie), but I was lucky enough to score a cauliflower picked at a 4 a.m. that morning! How do farmers harvest their crops when it's still pitch black outside? Do they wear coal miner's helmets with lights on them? I'll have to ask them the next time I'm there...if I'm awake enough, that is.

The cauliflower, so pretty with its ruff of green, quickly became Roasted Cauliflower with Grated Parmesan Cheese.

I scored golden and red beets and young carrots over at Ted Hutten's stand. I've been craving this Roasted Beets & Carrots Salad with Feta & Fresh Mint for a while now. And lucky for me, Riverview Herbs had some lovely mint (along with the micro greens, young basil and oregano) fresh from their greenhouses.

Naturally I couldn't leave the market without getting a glorious salmon fillet. No matter how many fantastic salmon recipes I find, I still come back often to this simplest one of all...Dill Roasted Salmon. Why would anyone want to cover up the absolutely perfect flavor of the fish so freshly caught? Until I moved to Halifax, I never quite understood why my son-in-law, who was born and raised in Halifax, if given a choice, would turn his nose up at the offer of salmon or scallops in Toronto. Not that THAT salmon was BAD....it just wasn't nearly as sweet in flavor as the salmon I buy now - so close to where they're caught.....I'm rambling, but I hope you get the message....salmon here is awesome as are the scallops!

The interesting salami slices from Sweet William's Country Sausage (this week, pork with some honey to give it a hint of unexpected sweetness) will make for some great sandwiches and frittatas later in the week....later, that is, unless we gobble it all up while putting away our bounty.

And given all the scary stories these days about how chickens are kept and the potential for diseases they can spread....I've heard people say they no longer eat chicken livers or eggs unless they personally visit the chicken farmers operations. I'm not soooo extreme as to do that, but I do love to buy my eggs at the market. I KNOW they're fresh and that the chickens are really free range. (Apparently the definition of "free range" means that chickens must be allowed to roam free for AT LEAST 5 MINUTES A DAY! - not very free to me!). Plus, the price of really fresh, really free range eggs at the market is $2.50 a dozen for large eggs. I couldn't do better than that anywhere.

Tonight's dinner....grilled steaks with a salad of microgreens and fresh basil, oregano & mint from Riverview Herbs. I think I'll go with this Balsamic Apple Cider Vinaigrette. I'm already wondering what goodies I'll score next weekend.

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SwissMiss said...

I had no idea that "free range" legally meant "5 minutes" of free range-ing a day!!! That's ridiculously small for price the mark-up in supermarkets...

Thanks for the heads-up - I've been buying "free-range" thinking the chickens were roaming around most of the day outside... silly me!

Ruth Daniels said...

I was exactly the same until I read an article (can't remember where) and did an interview with a local chef. It really did give me food for thought.

TBC said...

Hi Ruth,
I sent you my entry for the Presto Pasta Nights event last night. Hope you have received it:-)

michelle said...

Wow - your farmer's market sounds amazing!! What a lovely collection of recipes to come from it too :)

Kevin said...

That salmon with lemon and dill sounds really good.