Now that summer is officially here, I’m hoping to do a series of posts dedicated to local food. One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to visit the local markets, picking up produce and other creations made by the talented people in the area. Sometimes, you can find amazing deals, and other times, you have to pay a bit more than you might at the grocery store, but I think there is a great deal of value in supporting the local economy, so it makes the added price worth it in the end. Plus, the quality of the food to be found at these markets is typically significantly better.
Here’s a brief summary of my market experiences of late:
1. Mosborough Market (just outside of Guelph, at the corner of Wellington Road 32, and Speedvale
This is a small store, but one which contains lots of awesome stuff. They have a great deal of frozen meat, from pork, to beef, to ostrich! They also have a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a range of sauces, snacks, and crafts to check out. While there, I purchased some pork chops (fresh, not frozen) some local garlic, tomatoes, peas, and berries. All were amazing, particularly the pork chops. We seasoned them with a bit of Epicurious Thai Red Curry Rub, and did them on the barbecue. My husband remarked afterwards that they might have been the best pork chops he had ever had. He may have just been talking about his mad skills on the barbecue, but I’m sure it was at least partially due to the quality of the meat!
Check it out at: http://mosboroughmarket.ca/
2. Steckle’s Produce and Flowers (just outside of Harriston, on the way to Mount Forest on Highway 89)
This is a Mennonite family farm/store, and anytime I head to that part of the country, I love to stop in here. First of all, you can look out in the field, and see where your food has been grown. Secondly, the food is generally quite reasonably priced. Thirdly, they have some of the most beautiful flowers there that I have ever seen! While there, I purchased a field cucumber, some tomatoes, a zucchini, a basket of peas (which I accidentally left at my mom’s house, and are probably all gone by now!), and a basket of yellow beans. They also have a variety of breads and homemade goodies to tempt you as you walk in the door, so carb-lovers beware!
3. Harriston-Minto Farmers’ Market (located in Harriston, beside the Harriston Motors parking lot, as you come in from Teviotdale on Highway 109)
This market is open every Friday in the summer from 3-6. I am rarely in town at this time, but I just happened to be there yesterday, so I made of point of making my way down there. The number of vendors varies from week to week, but while I was there, there were about 6 or 7. While it may be small, there are still a great deal of neat things to be found. While there, I picked up some of the last strawberries of the season, some homemade tarts (blueberry and raisin) for a family gathering this weekend. However, the highlight was definitely picking up a couple of still-warm tea biscuits from the South Street Cafe tent, along with some salad dressing that everyone has been raving about. Mom and I promptly went home, crushed up some strawberries, and spread them on the biscuits for a delightful little afternoon snack.
So, if you happen to be passing through Harriston on a Friday afternoon this summer, stop in!
Check it out at:http://www.mintofarmersmarket.ca/
Also check out South Street Cafe at: http://www.southstreetcafe.ca/ (I was also there this week, and would HIGHLY recommend the chicken club sandwich… chicken, bacon, avacado, tomato, chipotle mayo… delicious!)
So, what have I done with all of these local goodies? Well, one recipe that I would love to share with you, is the Grilled Basil Tomato Sandwich. This recipe is found in the Company’s Coming Low-Fat Express book, which I quite like, especially for the sandwich recipes. They are simple, but delicious… and they look pretty!
Grilled Basil Tomato Sandwich
2 tbsp. pizza sauce
4 Italian bread slices
2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese (I actually used slices of Havarti instead, and it worked really nicely)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, blotted dry and chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Cooking spray or butter/margarine
Spread pizza sauce on 1 side of each bread slice. Sprinkle cheese over sauce. Press down lightly.
Combine next 3 ingredients in small bowl. Spread over cheese on 2 bread slices. Place remaining bread slices, cheese-side down, over tomato mixture.
Heat large frying pan on medium. If using butter or margarine, spread it on outside of the sandwiches (both sides). If using cooking spray, the recipe says to spray it on the sandwiches, but I think you could just spray the pan. I like the butter or margarine, because it makes the bread brown up a bit better. Place sandwiches in pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until bottoms are golden. Turn sandwiches over. Press down with spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes until bottoms are golden and cheese is melted. Serves 2. You can also use the left over pizza sauce for dipping!
I would serve this with a garden salad, and a balsamic dressing.