Filed under In Season

Crazy for cranberries

Crazy for cranberries

Matt French’s cranberry sauce will be smoking this Christmas. French, sales director and winemaker at Johnston’s in Muskoka, Ontario’s largest cranberry farm, teamed up with a Port Carling chef to throw homegrown cranberries in the smoker for 30 minutes before mixing them with sautéed leeks and onions, a splash of his cranberry wine and local … Continue reading

Parsnips a smash hit

Ontario’s biggest parsnip producer is still astonished to see his roots on three-star menus. “When I was a kid the old Anglo Saxons bought them,” says Tony Tomizza, whose family has pulled parsnips from the black muck of the Holland Marsh for more than half a century. “They knew how to cook them and what … Continue reading

Pumpkin’s last hurrah

Pumpkin’s last hurrah

Today marked the last hurrah for Halloween pumpkins. Before the garbage man arrived, I stole a few big jack o’ lanterns from atop a neighbour’s green bin to break up and spread in my garden, where they magically break down and vanish over the winter. Though big pumpkins are too stringy and watery to cook … Continue reading

Gotta love the blues

Gotta love the blues

Prepare to go wild Sunday, Aug. 23 at the 6th annual wild blueberry festival at Evergreen Brick Works. And come hungry, so you can taste the more than 30 blueberry-laden sweets and savouries for sale and vote with your taste buds for the best wild blue pie. Along with the familiar pies, jam and muffins, … Continue reading

Some like them tart

Some like them tart

Little green gooseberry balloons looked so pretty in mid-July at the East York farmers market, I couldn’t resist buying a quart. Fortunately, I knew better than to pop them in my mouth, since the translucent berries can be as mouth-puckering as rhubarb when green and hard. “They ripen if you let them sit on the … Continue reading

Time for tomatillos

Time for tomatillos

Tomatillos take me back to San Miguel de Allende, the fabled artist’s colony in the hills four hours northwest of Mexico City. On my first visit earlier this month, I drank homemade margaritas on a rooftop terrace with friends while watching the sun set, and spent days strolling narrow cobblestoned streets and feasting on tortilla … Continue reading

Savoy faire

Savoy faire

That basketball of a green cabbage lounging in the produce department has a lot going for it. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, it feeds an army, it’s economical and lasts for weeks in the fridge. But you really must meet its sophisticated cousin, the savoy. It’s the pretty one, more oval in shape and clad with layer upon … Continue reading

Pass the Pomelo

Pass the Pomelo

Whether you spell it pomelo or pummelo, we’re talking one BIG piece of fruit. “It’s hard to get people to try them,” admits Gary Laux, a fourth-generation California citrus grower, “but don’t be overwhelmed by their size — once you get inside, that’s where all the fun’s at.” Laux has been growing the world’s largest … Continue reading

Master of shallots

Master of shallots

Frank Schroyens loves the finer things in life. In 1980, the former Belgian diamond cutter traded his specialized tools for a tractor on a tobacco farm in Southern Ontario. In 1999, Schroyens switched to growing shallots, a crop beloved in Europe. At the time they were unknown here outside the kitchens of Euro-trained chefs. Today, … Continue reading

Root for rutabaga!

Root for rutabaga!

January 25 is a big night for rutabaga as Scots around the world celebrate the birth of their beloved poet Robert Burns 256 years ago. A traditional Burns Night feast stars haggis with bashed neeps and tatties, which translates as ground offal and oatmeal cooked in a sheep’s stomach with sides of mashed rutabaga and potatoes. … Continue reading