I am a bit late posting this one (busy week- work and then Whistler!) but here are a few notables from last week's Winter Van Farmer's Market:
Yummy food truck eats:
After finding out that Clement Chan, owner of Le Tigre food truck, would be a contestant on Top Chef Canada, my husband has hit up his truck over the last two weeks at the Winter Market to see what he is made of. So far, he has tried the steamed pork bun, which he really enjoyed. The bun was nice and doughy, while the pork was succulent with just enough spice. He was a bit less of a fan of the popcorn chicken. The first few bites were good but it quickly became sickening, and he did not enjoy the sauce. He still looks forward to trying more of their goodies. And I have certainly been eyeing the beet fries!
The Farmer's Market is absolutely THE best place to go to shop for a dinner party. What better way to spoil your guests than by making a meal with healthy, fresh, local ingredients? That s exactly what I did last Saturday!
When planning your menu, keep an open mind and, instead of thinking of a certain dish you want to make, choose some of your favourite ingredients that are currently found at the market and start "googling" away! Searches like "squash recipes", "beet recipes" or "winter salad recipes" will yield very interesting results, and you are sure to find something that will please you and your guests. Be even more adventurous and choose a vegetable from the market that you have never tasted before (I cooked with kabocha squash and nettles for the first time!) and prepare to be amazed! The local farmers may also have neat recipe ideas for their produce that they are more than happy to share!
And its ok to "cheat" a little bit too by picking up some of the amazing prepared products at the market that you can incorporate into your dish. I got the plum chutney for my pork from "A Jar", who makes the most amazing pickled vegetables (the onions are so awesome for a cheese platter!), chutneys and other canned goods. They only come to the market every once and a while, so I encourage you to stock up the next time you see them!
Here are a few pics of the appetizer and main that I prepared. Aren't they pretty?
Kabocha squash, beets and nettle salad with walnuts and Salt Spring Island goat cheese
Pork tenderloin with a plum chutney over creamy cheese polenta, served with a winter vegetable and fruit medley
So go ahead and start googling away! A plethora of recipes made with your favorite market ingredients are just waiting to be found!