“Good Things Gro-oh-ow in On-tar-io!” (apologies to those of you not from Ontario as this quote will make little sense, but it really was a great ad!)
-Unknown (at least to me)
I was going to have to ride quickly if I was to beat the rain, but I couldn’t bear to miss the East Lynn farmer’s market on the Danforth in Toronto. Too much delicious bounty to be had!
The route I chose took me meandering through several different types of neighbourhoods on my way to this super little east end market. Lots to look at and consider along the way (dream up stories for all the humanity I passed more like it!) but mostly I planned what I would buy and how I would prepare what I chose.
Fresh and Local Garlic Scapes… the main reason for this particular market trip
Good things really DO grow in Ontario!
It is a most approachable market based on its small size which leaves plenty of time to chat with each of the vendors individually. Fresh produce brought in by staff who work on the farms, pride in, and knowledge of their product vastly evident.
East Lynn Farmer’s Market – 1949 Danforth Ave. Toronto
Fresh berries and rhubarb of course, kale, zucchini, beets and fresh sweet green peas on offer by one young farmer eager to discuss where his produce came from. I was particularly taken with his booth as it was run by the Toronto District School Board. Specifically two schools… high schools… grow veg and staff the market every Thursday. Their produce is fully organic. And these kids really know what they’re talking about, their pride in the process clear. Now that’s a school project I could get behind!
Half the peas didn’t even make it home to be shelled!
Now that I think of it, the pesto would have been REALLLLLY good on one of these!
The breads and cheeses were almost too delectable to bear but I was on a mission… those gorgeous curly garlic scapes that are only available now. As I was paying for my almost too beautiful to be true garlic toppers, a couple excitedly approach the booth. They too were thrilled about the scapes being available. “Pesto! The best pesto you will ever make!” the husband exclaimed. “We used to grow garlic JUST FOR THIS BIT!” the wife added. I love being with people that are equally as weirdly obsessed… errr… I mean excited about food as I am!
With great self control I bypassed the bread and cheese for a second time, stopping only to admire and of course take a few pics. I moved along to pick up a couple of baskets of sweet green peas from the students, some berries of course, and packing my purchases for the long ride home, I headed back, pedalling quickly as the black cloud overhead was, well, really really threatening.
I did miss the rain (or it missed me I suppose) and I even had time to make a quick stop at the Olive Oil Emporium (which I’m lucky enough to have right in my very own neighbourhood) for some wonderful Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and yes it DOES deserve capitals!) Pesto really does deserve quality oil and this place has it by the litre!
Enjoy & Namaste!
- ½ lb garlic scapes (about 20 or so)
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ¾ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (more or less to taste)
- S&P to taste
- Clean scapes of any brown bits and rough chop
- Add all ingredients except the olive oil into bowl of food processor
- Begin to process, slowly drizzling the olive oil as the blades turn
- Process until smooth
- Serve with fresh crusty bread, fresh cut veg, with eggs or on pasta... you're limited only by your imagination!