I know it's mid-February, and the sourcing for interesting fresh local produce is starting to feel like a stretch. We've made our way through bushels of squash, carrots, onions, beets and potatoes, and surprisingly only one cabbage (so far). A few weeks ago we were absolutely delighted to find local brussels sprouts and kale at the market, both being favourites of ours that we had not seen in a good long while (they sell out quickly these days!). However, we still have at least 3 months to go before fresh greens and produce like asparagus, spinach or peas show up at the local farmer's market and begin to sprout in our garden.
I thought, why not put together a tasty 100-mile Valentine's dinner for my sweetheart - and test my creativity and winter food flair. I've started my indoor sprout garden again, growing spicy lentil crunch, sandwich booster (which has radish and red clover), wheatgrass, and of course alfalfa. We are also very fortunate to have our greenhouse, which still contains a small patch of arugula & chard, that we sparingly harvest for salads a few times per week until our newly planted lettuces grow. So what can I make for a romantic Valentines feast?
On the menu so far:
* Handmade mini samosas filled with local organic peas, potatoes, carrots, garlic & onions from our garden (from our cellar & freezer)
* Served with pear-plum chutney - made with local organic pears & plums (from the Wellesley area), and onions, garlic & hot pepper from our garden (canned back in September)
* Small side salad of fresh arugula & chard (picked fresh from our greenhouse), spicy sprout mix (grown in our kitchen), local apples (farmer's market), and local hemp seeds (Millbank Foods), and locally made goat feta (Woolwich)
* With a dressing of local organic raspberries (in our freezer), & local hemp/flax oils (Millbank Foods)
* Handmade spelt pasta (made with local spelt flour, by our friend here in town)
* Zesty tomato sauce (canned from organic tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and herbs, back in August) and with a dollop of basil pesto cream (made with organic basil from our garden)
* Steamed local kale (farmers market) tossed with locally pressed hemp oil (Millbank) and maple-tempeh croutons (locally pressed tempeh, and local maple syrup)
* Local organic icecream from Mapleton's (farm just past Elora, purchased at our local health food store), served with a warm decadent peach-mulberry sauce (peaches we canned this summer, and mulberries that we picked in our neighbourhood)
* Warm local cider (Wellesley) and/or homemade wine (we now have blueberry, sour cherry, apple, pear, and grape waiting in our cellar!)
Who needs chocolates & roses!!!?? It's easy to say "I love you" through local food! For more examples of food love check out "I heart farms"...