An Ambrosia a day

An Ambrosia a day

When the Brantview Apples & Cider tent goes up at farmers markets and bags of apples appear on the long table, the questions begin. What’s the best apple for pie? For applesauce? What’s the firmest? Sweetest? Tart? Grower Jay Howell and daughter Jen from St. George, between Brantford Ont. and Cambridge Ont., answer questions with … Continue reading

Get personal with squash

Let’s get personal, with squash! Turns out there’s no need to buy a monster squash that requires a machete to open and a week to eat. Instead, sort through the bins of local butternut and buttercup, ridged acorns and bulbous hubbards to find the long, narrow delicata with its pale yellow skin and distinctive green … Continue reading

It’s a corn-u-copia!

It’s a corn-u-copia!

It’s been a tough summer for Ontario corn producers, though you wouldn’t know it from the mountains of sleek cobs heaped in farmers’ markets across the city. Until recently, growers of sweet corn and other vegetables were watering their fields 16 to 18 hours a day just to keep the crops alive and cranking up the AC … Continue reading

Cider Rules

Cider Rules

  Not liking beer has always made social situations a little awkward. At the Queen’s pub years back, I clearly recall pitchers of cheap beer being poured with gusto while I and a few other female students nursed expensive, sickly sweet Singapore Slings and Harvey Wallbangers. I later switched to wine, but a glass of … Continue reading

Go for the crunch!

Go for the crunch!

When asked to name the most under-rated vegetable, MasterChef judge Graham Elliot didn’t hesitate: Celery!   “I love it for the crunch, and for its slight bitter edge,” says the celebrated Chicago chef and restaurateur, in TO recently to promote Walmart’s fresh produce. “You can juice it, shave it into salads, pickle it, garnish a cocktail, … Continue reading

Zucchini Italian style

Zucchini Italian style

At a recent ‘Made in Italy’ dinner, graduates of George Brown College’s Italian program set the stage for a summer of good eating. As chef school director John Higgins handed out cheques from the Italian Trade Agency to students who cooked the winning dishes, he noted that cooking in Italy over the next few months will … Continue reading

Watercress adds a regal bite

Watercress adds a regal bite

Bring on the pomp and circumstance, as Britain prepares to officially celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday tomorrow. After travelling along London’s Mall in horse-drawn carriages and assembling on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for their annual photo op, Her Majesty and Co., along with her loyal Canadian subjects, will surely be ready for a pot of … Continue reading

Green garlic adds a taste of spring

Green garlic adds a taste of spring

Nestled beside the heaping displays of local asparagus at the farmers market sit bunches of thick white stalks with long green ribbons for leaves. Oversized green onions? Undersized leeks? Meet one of Ontario’s newest spring crops, green garlic. “When we started growing garlic three years ago, we left it all to form bulbs,” says market … Continue reading

All choked up

All choked up

They’re big, they’re beautiful and they’re a pain to prepare. Why bother? Because artichokes are a rite of spring, and because the meaty, mineral-rich heart hidden deep within their armoured leaves make it (almost) worth the effort. Of course, as soon as I decided to write about this edible thistle I couldn’t find any medium-sized … Continue reading

The “other” rhubarb

The “other” rhubarb

When Bill French needs a blast of spring, he just opens his barn door. Inside, thousands of lipstick-pink stalks of rhubarb with lemon-lime leaves vie for attention. Pick me! Pick me! Grown without sunlight, these elegant stalks are tender, fibre-free and sweeter than their outdoor cousins, though still tart. And they’re at their peak for … Continue reading