Monday, July 20, 2009

Local Markets=Heaven on a Plate

Truly there is nothing more delicious than fresh produce, and I mean - right from the garden served with local Nova Scotian lamb. And having been to not one, but two markets this past Saturday...I really scored some tasty treats. Just check out last night's dinner - Marinated Grilled Lamb Chops with veggies, steamed and lightly sauteed.

The lamb (my favorite meat, especially when it's from Nova Scotia) chops, marinated and grilled (even if it is on my indoor grill) came from Wood 'n' Hart Farm in Tatamagouche. One of these days, I really must go and visit Bill Wood on his farm to have a more in-depth chat about all things lamb. Bill breeds his own lean sheep, and feeds them grain, hay and grass and is extremely popular with local chefs and Saturday Market goers. I know it's one of my favorite stalls at the Halifax Farmers Market.
I also couldn't resist these gorgeous yellow and purple beans at the Elmridge Farm stall or were they from my other favorite farmers over at the Hutten Family Farm stand. I knew, standing there exactly how I'd prepare them and started drooling (all before 9am!)

But how come the deep purple faded to such a dull colour? They sort of looked like my mother's mushy grey broccoli (sorry mom) from my childhood. Although they were crispy and tasty. If you have any ideas for keeping them purple, let me know.

And one of my new finds over at the Dartmouth Farmers' Market, where I met Anna and Ben Wall (mentioned yesterday) were these precious little tomatoes. I naturally couldn't resist popping one in my mouth when I got home - WOW!!! they are like candy! In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd swear they'd been injected with honey.

So I lightly steamed the beans with a sprig of fresh basil (also from Ben & Anna) while I was sauteing the tiny tomatoes, cut in half to allow their juices out, in a touch of olive oil and Olivina (instead of butter, which the rest of you should enjoy for me) (probably 2 minutes) and then added the steamed beans along with fresh mint, basil and garlic scapes, a little salt and pepper, toss and plate over the lamb chop. Fantastic!

Where do you shop for your favorite local food? If you're not eating local, you can't imagine what you're missing out on. And if you live in Canada, please check out EatRealEatLocal to find out how you can do more in your neck of the woods.


giz said...

I've never seen purple beans - they're fantastic.

pam said...

I've never been able to keep the pretty purple color either.

The Messy Baker said...

Those purple beans look wonderful, Ruth.

Where do I get my local food? The Farmers' Market is a start. The local green grocers often stock more local produce than the big chains, plus we have an organic CSA. Meat? I go to the small meat markets.

And then there's my own garden. This year it's herbs and tomatoes. Next year? I'm adding squash.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to add a touch of something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice. You have to add vinegar to 'red' cabbage to keep the purple color.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for the tip. I did add lemon juice, but only after it steamed. Next time, I'll do it the other way round.

Ruth Daniels said...

Christie, lucky you to have local meat markets and green grocers. Here in Halifax, the closest thing is Pete's Frootique and much of their stuff is imported. As for meat...I did hear of one somewhere "over the bridge"...not sure if it really exists ;-)

NKP said...

What gorgeous produce! I have never seen purple beans either.
I love stopping at roadside stands in produce season.