Farm Fresh in the City

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UPDATE – Summer 2018 :
If you’d like to go to a Downtown Toronto Farmers’ Market, there’s a weekly one, which includes live music, prepared foods, and fresh produce, every Thursday from 8am to 2:30pm, in David Picaut Square. Here is a link with the details.

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Travelling in the streetcar recently, going west along King, I caught a glimpse of a bunch of tents and a crowd of people in Pecaut Square beside Roy Thompson Hall. I twisted in my seat as we zipped by, to get a better look. “What was that?”

A quick search gave me the answer — there was a weekly Farmers’ Market held there every Thursday in the summer and fall.

So last Thursday I went on over to have a look.

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↑ There’s an aluminuim sculpture in Simcoe Park called “Mountain” by renowned British artist here Anish Kapoor. ↑

(Some of you might have noticed that I wouldn’t have been able to see the place in these pictures from the King Street streetcar. You’d be right — last week the market had temporarily moved a block south to Simcoe Park because the flame-lighting for the Para PanAm Games was taking Place in Pecaut Square that day.)

It was great. There was such a buzz going on there and people really looked like they were having a good time enjoying the sunshine and friendly atmosphere of this outdoor market. In addition to shopping for flowers, baked goods, cured meats, cheese, honey, fruits and vegetables, many were also getting lunch at the several vendors serving cooked food.

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↑ I actually had a six-pack of tarts from this amazing selection in my hand and my wallet out, but found the willpower to put them down again. I’ll save that purchase for a time we’re having company! ↑

We were buying fresh produce that had just been picked from the fields that surround Toronto, so I wasn’t sure what the prices would be like, considering we were being offered such quality locally grown goods. I was surprised to see how reasonable they were — less than at our closest grocery store, for sure. For example, a whole basket of perfect sweet peaches from the Niagara Region for $5. A big head of broccoli was $2.

Here’s what I got …

purchases-from-downtown-toronto-farmers-market

And here’s some of what we did with it …

I made a marinated salad with some of the broccoli [Saute 1 minced clove of garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add about 4 chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and about 1/4 tsp salt. Pour hot dressing over raw broccoli florets and allow to marinade for at least 1 hour. Add about 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves if you have some. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days.]

marinated-broccoli-salad-with-sun-dried-tomatoes

We barbecued the Portobello Mushrooms and served them burger style with all the fixings. [Baste with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt while cooking.]

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We also grilled some of the peaches for dessert. [Cut in half and remove pit. Grill with skin on until softened, turning every few minutes. Place in glass dish with a cover (which will cause the juices to come out). Add about 1 tsp rum, if desired. Remove skins and serve with vanilla ice-cream, with the juices drizzled over-top.]

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barbecued-peaches-served-with-rum-and-vanilla-ice-cream

The radishes were sliced into tossed salads and also served as “chips” with a bit of homemade salad dressing as a dip. [Recipe for the dressing coming in a future post.]

radishes-cut-into-chip-shapes-with-homemade-salad-dressing-dip

The field tomatoes contributed to a great lunch, thickly sliced on toast with mayonnaise, basil, fresh pepper and sea salt. That’s summer on a plate, right there.

Thanks for dropping over. Hope you’re having a great week.
xo loulou

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