Mushrooms, Field Rhubarb, & Field Asparagus at Sherway Farmers’ Market

Sherway Farmers’ Market opened May 3, 2013. Farmers’ markets in Peel region open in June but there are quite a few in Halton opening in May. I am working on a local farmers’ market, farm market, and farm 2013 directory that I will post on my website soon. I’ll let you know when it’s up.

As the season progresses, Sherway Farmers’ Market will continue to grow. Here is a glimpse of some of the wonderful treasures I unearthed while visiting Sherway Farmers’ Market last Friday. There is a delicious recipe for rhubarb at the end of this post.

Sean and Shannon Declerc’s Fresh and Tasty Mushrooms, from Shelbourne, ON

Husband and wife team, Sean and Shannon Declerc, offer an impressive bounty of foraged, wild mushrooms (when in season) and specialty cultivated mushrooms including Portabella, Shitake, Enoki, Crimini, Beech, Oyster, and these beauties, Cinnamon Caps, that are named for their cinnamon colour. Shannon described the Cinnamon Caps as their earthiest mushroom with a beautiful, rich, woodsy flavour. They are delectable in omelets, risottos, or in roasted meat gravies.

Cinnamon Caps - Declerc

Lion’s Mane is Shannon’s favourite. It has a milder, very fresh flavour, and a different texture than regular mushrooms, which Shannon says is appealing even to those who don’t like mushrooms. It’s very versatile and is great grilled, on pizza, or in soups.

Lions Mane - Declerc

Mushrooms are porous and absorb liquid quickly. The Declercs grow all of their cultivated mushrooms on wood chips, so they don’t require washing. If you really feel you must, please just wipe them with a damp paper towel so you don’t disturb their delicate disposition.

Ralph & Emmy Lise’s Farm Fresh Produce, from Holland Marsh, ON

Ralph Lise’s stand was brimming with fresh produce on Friday, including field asparagus,

Field Asparagus - Lise

colourful Ontario greenhouse peppers, and Ontario greenhouse tomatoes. Ralph’s tomatoes are grown in soil and picked at a riper stage, making them more flavourful than most grocery store tomatoes (which are picked under-ripe to make them less fragile during transportation). Having been raised by a mother who grew up on superb Kent County tomatoes, I always search out the finest tomatoes I can sink my teeth into. I did a side-by-side taste comparison between some vine-ripened tomatoes I bought at a grocery store (and left sitting on my counter for a couple of days to ripen) and the Lise Farm tomatoes I bought on Friday. Compared to Ralph’s tomatoes, the grocery store vine-ripened tomatoes were still under-ripe and had a mealy texture. Ralph’s tomatoes were juicier and more flavourful, even though I ate them as soon as I got them home. It was a refreshing snack – a plate of Ralph’s tomatoes (adorned with nothing but a light sprinkle of sea salt) and a little bit of protein just to keep me ticking.

I could not resist this sign, Freshly Dug Small White Potatoes. Doesn’t that sound fresh? These deserve to be boiled in their skin, smashed a touch with a potato masher, then tossed with my favourite extra virgin olive and some fresh mint that has been chopped in a dash of kosher salt to bash it all up and coax out the flavour.

Potatoes - Lise

Abraham and Judith Piets’ Quality Bakery, from Norwich, ON 

Abraham and Judith’s tables were laden with lots of delectable looking freshly baked goods including bread, sausage rolls, pies, squares, tarts, strudels, and these Dutch cookies that I have been searching for since my friend first got me hooked on them. They are called “Stroopwafels” (Syrup Waffles), a toothsome cookie consisting of sweet, chewy syrup sandwiched between two delicate waffle wafers. Lovely when placed over a hot cup of tea to soften the syrup.

  Syrup Waffles - Piets

Bert Nieuwenhuis, Lamb & Wool Producer, from Orangeville, ON

Bring your cooler to the market because Bert offers a great selection of his locally raised and processed, government inspected lamb products. According to a great article on Bert (The Amiable Shepherd: Bert Nieuwenhuis by Nicole Ross, June 19, 2012 http://www.inthehills.ca/2012/06/departments/the-amiable-shepherd-bert-nieuwenhuis/), Bert’s products are popular with chefs and locals in the Headwaters region, so we are really lucky that he brings them down to Sherway Farmers’ Market. He sells lamb shanks, racks, legs, chops, burgers, roasts, organs, and even lamb heads. His lamb liver pâté sounds enticing. Next time I run into Bert, (perhaps at the Orangeville, Inglewood or Caledon Farmers’ Markets) I will be sure to have my cooler with me because olive Ontario lamb.

Andrews’ Scenic Acres, from Milton, ON

I was so happy to see local field rhubarb at the Andrews’ Scenic Acres stand. I can’t wait to visit Andrews’ Scenic Acres farm to pick my own asparagus, on the first sunny day that is available to me. I will tell you all about it on an upcoming post. As we move further into the growing season, the Andrews’ Scenic Acres stand at Sherway Farmers’ Market will be brimming with all sorts of fresh produce. I can’t wait for the berries.

Field Rhubarb - ASA

This little gem of a recipe is a delightful way to enjoy rhubarb. The recipe comes from The United Churches in Canada Let’s Break Bread Together cookbook, a compilation of tried and true, treasured recipes submitted from United Churches across Canada.  The cookbook was compiled and published by the United Church in Meadowood, Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1988. It is still available for purchase from Derksen Printers. Please see the full details and the link at the end of this post. It is well worth purchasing and would make a great addition to a novice cook’s library.

The Rhubarb Torte recipe was submitted by Brooks United Church in Brooks, Alberta. It’s an easy recipe that will make a confident baker out of an apprehensive one and a rhubarb lover out of anyone. Olive it!  Thanks very much to the United Church in Meadowood for permitting me to share this recipe with my readers.

Rhubarb Torte

Rhubarb Torte

The tartness of the rhubarb is tamed by the creamy custard filling, which sits atop a rich, buttery shortbread crust and is topped with a soft and billowy meringue. The recipe calls for a 9″ x 9″ pan but if you only have an 8″ x 8″ pan, it will still work out beautifully. In that case, you will have to cook only the filling a little longer than directed.

Crust:

1 cup flour (measured by spooning flour into cup and leveling off with a knife)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in small cubes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix, by rubbing between your finger tips, until mixture turns crumbly. Press into a 9″ x 9″ pan. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack.

Meanwhile, prepare filling.

Filling:

3 egg yolks, beaten (separate the whites and reserve for the meringue)

1 1/4 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup cream

2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into bite-size pieces

Mix the first four ingredients well. Stir in the rhubarb. Spread evenly over crust. Bake 40 minutes, or longer, until filling is set.

Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Meanwhile, prepare meringue.

Meringue:

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons white sugar

Beat the egg whites, slowly adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time, just until soft peaks form and whites look glossy. Spread gently over filling. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F until meringue is golden brown. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe may be doubled for a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Rhubarb Torte, page 169: The United Churches in Canada Let’s Break Bread Together (Compiled and published in 1988 by the United Church in Meadowood, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Printed by Derksen Printers Ltd., Steinbach, MB). Available for order on-line at http://www.derksenprinters.com/store/cookbook_catalogue.shtml

Sherway Farmers’ Market
25 The West Mall
Toronto, ON
M9C 1B8
(located in the far northeast parking lot at Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre)
 
Opening Hours:
Every Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., May 3rd to October 25, 2013.

www.sherwaymarket.com


View Larger Map

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>