Farm to Table Dinner

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One of our “wishes” for summer was to take a bike ride down through the Don Valley and visit the Saturday Farmers Market at the Evergreen Brickworks.  We managed to do this, technically before summer ended, one Saturday when Vince happened to be off.  After just one visit, I can’t wait until we’re able to do it again!  Can you imagine bike riding along that path with all the leaves turning and the warm sun on your face?  It’s going to be gorgeous🙂20120927-220045.jpg

When Vince walked into the Farmer’s Market, I think he didn’t know which direction to turn.  Everywhere was filled with fresh produce, home baked bread, artisan cheese, food being cooked, homemade maple syrup…if it was local or organic, you name it, they had it.  Basically it was a chef’s playground.

Since we had to bike home (uphill, no less) we decided to only pick up a few things.  With so many delicious and vibrant choices, we had a hard time sticking to this!

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One of these baskets of blueberries was over $100!  What would YOU do with all of these blueberries?20120927-220526.jpg

This was only just a small sample of what was available.  In the end we decided to get some rainbow swiss chard (those colours are irresistible!), beets, and heirloom tomatoes.  Vince had all the ideas on what he was going to do with them.

Before biking home, we stepped into Cafe Belong for their breakfast sandwich made with local ingredients (of course) – a homemade biscuit with eggs, greens, cheese, and smoked trout.  It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and I’ve craved it almost every morning since.  The ultimate breakfast sandwich for sure.

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We couldn’t leave without exploring the grounds of the Brickworks.  It really felt like we were out of the city!20120927-220602.jpg

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So what did Vince make?  He decided to make a warm salad with the beets and swiss chard.  He simply washed the beets, placed them on a baking sheet, and stuck them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2.5 hours.  Because he roasted them whole, they retained all their juices and flavours.

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For the swiss chard, he thoroughly washed it and then removed the leaves and coarsely chopped the stems.  He heated some olive oil, added some garlic and the stems and sauteed it for 5 minutes.  Then he added the leaves and sauteed it all for another few minutes with some salt and pepper.

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He then plated the salad with the swiss chard at the bottom and topped it with some quartered beets, goats cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.  The only thing we were missing was some pecans or walnuts for some crunch and to add another dimension to the texture.

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We also picked up some heirloom tomatoes which Vince simply sauteed in a pan with some onions, garlic, and olive oil.  After boiling the pasta and sauteeing the shrimp and spinach separately, he then tossed it all together.  Simple and delicious!

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I hate to admit this, but this might have been our first time visiting a farmers market and then cooking with the ingredients we bought.  I love farm to table eating and after meeting the farmers, and cooking their produce with care and letting the ingredients speak for themselves, I know we’ll be back again soon.  Next time we’ll enjoy it with a glass of Ontario wine!

On another note, this weekend is our 2nd wedding anniversary and 12 years of being together.  Wait for it…Vince is actually off for the ENTIRE weekend!  I’m so excited and I’ll be sure to share with all of you on what we decide to do and eat🙂

With love,

Chef’s Wife