Warm and Winning Market Fare

The food: winter market fare

The story:

The farmers’ market at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks site still runs on Saturday mornings in wintertime – and through the wintry spring we’re currently enduring – though the market’s fare these days is by necessity focused more on prepared foods than on fresh farm produce.

A recent delicious discovery I made there is a spinach and goat cheese quiche-type tart – only one of several sweet and savoury pies on offer at The Canadian Pie Company stand. Six dollars (slightly cheaper than at the company’s own Queen Street East shop!) buys an individual savoury tart made with eggs, organic spinach and goat cheese wrapped in flaky, puffy pastry. Reheated and served with a green salad, the tart makes a perfect weekend lunch, or with the addition of some roasted carrots or squash, a lovely light dinner.

While at the Brickworks, I also picked up some fresh sheep milk’s ricotta from the Monforte Dairy stand, so that I could once again make a home version of the fresh ricotta with toast that I so loved at Locanda Verde in New York.

This time around, I used walnut raisin bread from Toronto’s St. John’s Bakery – also available at the Brickworks Market – as a base. Here’s how a slice looks toasted:

I topped that with the Monforte ricotta, and drizzled it with warmed orange honey (from the Tasmanian Honey Company) that I had picked up from Honey World, a small booth in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market that specializes in honey from New Zealand, offers free samples to all comers, and was an indirect source of inspiration for the Honey Hut store I featured in my Toronto Noir story “A Taste of Honey.”

After being sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leaves and a few grains of red Hawaiian sea salt, this part local, part global, all market creation – and taste explosion – was ready to enjoy.

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