Trying New Things

Hello Market Friends:

Coming to the market is a great way to discover new foods — or to change your old ideas about them. Take beans, for example. When I was a kid, I’d never even heard of fava beans, and if lima beans were on the table, I figured my Mom must be really mad at us. My husband uses a bag of them as a re-freezable cold pack for hockey injuries because he’s sure he’ll never eat them by mistake. But I’m game to try anything our farmers grow, and the fresh, creamy limas I brought home from Shared Harvest are a whole other story.

I just boiled them ten minutes as instructed, and ate them with butter, salt & pepper, and chopped herbs. Then market enthusiast Suzanne Long kindly passed on the recipe for their bigger cousins, fava beans, which she transcribed from Ayse Akoner of Marvellous Edibles, and it looks so good I think I’d better share it. I expect it would be mighty fine with limas, too.

Ayse’s Favas

  • Start with a medium onion. Chop and saute in olive oil.
  • Add in 2 medium tomatoes, diced.
  • A few minutes later, add 2cups fava beans, shelled and skinned, with juice of half a lemon and 1 cup water.
  • Cook until beans are soft, approx. 30-40 minutes.
  • Roughly chop up several handfuls of fresh dill and mix in.

Suzanne says, “I eat this with ciabatta and butter. And guard the leftovers zealously.”

For those of you who were let down after all the excitement about celery last week, Kevin Hamilton from Shared Harvest sends this message: “We will bring 20 giant celery. Lots of heirlooms and white romas. Red romas are done… Lots of beans too, some limas, and edamame. Mustard greens, arugula, mizuna and delicious, I mean delicious heirloom zucchini. (White Scallop).”

Next is a recipe for Jenny Cook, who’s got a tremendous crop of beautiful beets coming out of the ground at Knuckle Down Farm. This was adapted from Bon Appetit and prepared by my daughter to rave reviews.

Roasted Beet Dice

Scrub, trim, and then wrap a pound of red and/or golden beets in a foil packet, and roast in a hot oven until tender. While they are cooking, chop 2 Tablespoons of hazelnuts or walnuts and saute them in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil until toasty.

Peel the beets and dice them finely. Mix with the nuts, a finely chopped shallot (or half a red onion), 2 Tablespoons of chopped mint, and 2 Tablespoons of good vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

If desired, mix half a cup of sour cream with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, spread this on a plate, and serve the beets on top, garnished with lemon zest.

Sosnickis‘ contribution: “APPLES this week! Our yellow sweet onions are massive and curing…romas breaking down, but still quite a few AND a late patch…red peppers..awesome harvest just starting around here!!” Jessie, Ben and the crew

Plan B news: “We will have loads of our beans, zucchini, radish, pac choy, beets, carrots, tomatillos, chard and… wait for it… amazing lemon grass and mint from the greenhouses. Mojito mint 🙂 Mmmm!” Alvaro

A wonderful surprise from Debbie Wiecha: “We are cleaning up the orchard and I will have a small load of the last peaches, nectarines and blackberries for this Thursday.”

French Fry Perfection

Jackson and Nile Kennedy, with a little help from their Dad, had a very successful launch of their new fry-making setup at the market last week. Potatoes were ‘punched’ into fries, blanched, and then fried until golden, all on the spot. Tasters agreed that cooking the potatoes so quickly after prepping yields supreme results–but you don’t have to take their word for it. Fingers crossed that Jackson and Nile will do it all again this week.

The Park’s Market-Day Snack Bar

You may have read Jutta Mason’s fall newsletter about finances and management of Dufferin Grove, in which she described issues affecting the park’s market snack bar menu.

In winter, when the market ‘piggybacks’ on the regular ‘zamboni cafe’, we’ve always had park classics like chocolate chip cookies on the market-day menu as well. (Scientists could probably trace those cookies in the DNA of my kids, and all the others who’ve grown up around the park.) The flour in the cookies, cinnamon buns, and other baking is generally organic, but not all the other ingredients are. We want to keep those familiar, affordable snacks available, but we’d like to be clear about what things are made of, so park staff are going to help out with a chalkboard listing what’s organic and what’s not, and your questions are always welcome.

We’re working on a few changes to what’s on offer as well:

First, it’s puzzling that all over town, a City department that runs healthy activities also sells pop, and a request has been made to remove it from the market-day menu.

Second, starting this week, we’ll try a new approach to sourcing vegetables for the park soups and salads. We will contribute ‘market bucks’, vouchers which the cooks can use for purchasing from the farmers, to ensure that more of the key ingredients are from our local organic growers.

Third, in the coming weeks, Dufferin’s Recreation supervisors have agreed to a trial re-introduction of organic hot dogs. They need to see how costs work out, and hear from customers whether it matters what kind of hot dogs they buy. Your input is important here.

Another area where we need your input: we’ll be asking you to complete a super-brief survey about the winter market. Please stop by the information table for a little chat!

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

P.S. An Event to Note, from Jutta Mason:

Monday Sept.14, all day: oven repair with Jonathan White

The ovens at Dufferin Grove are getting on in years: 20 (big oven) and 15 (smaller oven). The hearth on the smaller oven is very uneven by now. Jonathan White, a baker and cheesemaker near New York City, discovered the Dufferin Grove ovens on the internet, and got in touch. He visited in July and is now coming again to help fix the oven hearth. He may have to get part-way inside. A tricky business! But it will be interesting to watch. Everyone welcome. Some of the bakers from other city ovens will be there, and there will no doubt be lots of talk — this is your chance to find out the nitty gritty of outdoor bake ovens.

P. P. S. The results of The Great Seed Spitting Contest!

We didn’t know the extent of our local talent until we held our first Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. And the winners are:

For Distance:

  • Luca (Jr. Spitters), at 15 feet!
  • Julian (Intermediate), 22 feet!
  • Jim (Pro-Circuit), 18.5 feet!

And in the freestyle championships:

  • Richard Underhill, with a spit that was literally off the chart, demonstrating what a musician’s diaphragm and embouchure can do!
  • Rhonda, with her incredible free-form display of a yoga inspired approach!

Winners who haven’t collected their prizes yet, come see Anne or Pia at the market.

Vendors this week:

  • Afri-Can Food Basket (organic produce)
  • Alli Harris (fish sandwiches, fritters, hemp pesto, beverages, salads)
  • Bees Universe (honey and bee products, eggs)
  • Beretta Farms (natural and organic meats)
  • Best Baa/Ewenity Dairy (sheep’s milk, cheeses, yogurt and ice cream)
  • Brixton Grill (vegan barbeque and ice cream treats)
  • ChocoSol (coffee and chocolate, tortillas cooked at the market)
  • Country Meadows (olives, oil, eggs, cheese)
  • Culture City (fermented condiments, tempeh)
  • DeFloured (gluten-free baking)
  • Dufferin Park Bakers (wood-fired oven breads, soups,and snacks)
  • Earth and City (raw foods, smoothies, rice bowls)
  • Evelyn’s Crackers (baking made with ON whole grains)
  • Everdale Organic Farm (organic produce)
  • Floralora Flowers (organic, farm-grown cutflowers)
  • Forbes Wild Foods (wild veggies and mushrooms, nuts, maple syrup, preserves)
  • JK Fries (fresh-cut french fries with choice of mayos)
  • Kind Organics (sprouts, salad mixes)
  • Knuckle Down Farm (organic vegetables)
  • Marvellous Edibles (organic vegetables, meats, poultry, baking, fruits)
  • Pine River Organic Farm (organic vegetables)
  • Plan B (organic produce)
  • Shared Harvest (organic vegetables and herbs)
  • Sosnickis’ Organic Produce (organic vegetables)
  • Spade & Spoon (jams, pickles, soups, maple syrup)
  • Tapioca Gourmet (gluten-free Brazilian pancakes with seasonal fillings)
  • Ted Thorpe (veggies and herbs)
  • Urban Harvest (plants, seeds, body care, soil amendments)
  • VQA Wine (Southbrook this week)
  • Waymac Farms (oyster and shiitake mushrooms)
  • Ying Ying Soy (tofus and miso from ON organic soybeans)

We’re open from 3 to 7 every Thursday, rain or shine!