New Recipe in Bloom!

Hello my friends!

I am writing to you after another beautiful day in Toronto, Ontario.  We have been so lucky with perfect weather over the past few weekends.

I just got back from the Evergreen Brickworks farmers market where I found lots of fresh veggies!  I would like to highlight one in particular, Squash Blossoms from Cookstown Greens. I have prepared it two ways, which you will find out at the end of my post.  But for now, lets take a look at what was available in the farmers market this week!

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Those curly greens above are garlic scapes.  They are the stalks of the garlic plant and have a mild garlicky flavour, and are delicious cooked with meats to infuse flavour, chopped up in a stir fry or grilled on the BBQ!

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Delicious fresh lettuce from Sosnicki Organics.

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Colourful swiss chard and leafy greens from Everdale farm and the Black Creek Community Farm.

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Breathtaking local flowers from Roseview Meadow.

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And the piece de resistance? Fresh Sheeps milk ricotta from Best Baa Farms.

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And no visit to the farmers market complete without a sampling of some delicious food.  This week we went to Pimenton, Spanish and Mediterranean Fine Foods.  We tried the paella, complete with fresh lamb chunks from Birkbeck Farms, an organic local lamb farm. Complete with two empanadas to share stuffed with mushrooms and spinach as well as bacon, cheese and prunes.  Delicious!

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Some of my purchases from the farmers market included lots of fresh lettuce and kale, fresh strawberries from Bizjak farms, fresh squash blossums and  fresh french mint tips from Cookstown Greens, some challah bread from St Johns Bakery (this is an amazing bakery whose profits go towards giving to their workers who have come from difficult situations, such as addiction, mental illness and disability and newcomers to Canada giving them the chance to learn a new trade) and some fresh ricotta from Best Baa Farms.

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My most exciting purchase this week from the farmers market was Squash Blossums from Cookstown Greens. They are a beautiful delicate flower and one cup only contains five calories, calcium, iron and vitamin A and C. They are large enough that they can be stuffed, which I tried in the recipe today (since they are very perishable and should be eaten within a day of purchasing).

I wanted to make a savoury and a sweet stuffed squash flower so here’s what I tried:

STUFFED SQUASH FLOWERS TWO WAYS:

RICOTTA, HONEY and VANILLA  -and- RICOTTA, PARMESAN and MINT

Ingredients:

-10 fresh squash flowers

-One farm fresh egg, yolk and white separated

-2/3 cup fresh ricotta

-3 tbsp honey

-1/3 cup fresh mint leave

-1/4 cup grated parmesan

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the stigma of the flower with a knife or some tweezers.  Wash flowers well and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.  In two separate bowls add 1/3 cup ricotta.

RICOTTA, HONEY and VANILLA Stuffed

To the ricotta, add, 2 tbsp honey and 1/2 of the egg white as well as the seeds from one vanilla bean.

RICOTTA, PARMESAN AND MINT Stuffed

To the ricotta, add the egg yolk, parmesan cheese and fresh mint.

Stuff the flowers with the mixture an twist the petals to seal.  Put on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  In the last few minutes drizzle honey stuffed flowers with honey and parmesan stuffed flowers with parmesan.  Serve hot and enjoy!

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You can see the stamen of the flower, which must be removed due to its bitter taste.

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Fresh ricotta, ready for both savoury and sweet additions!

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Ricotta and honey stuffing with vanilla bean.

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Ricotta, parmesan and mint stuffing.

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Stuffing the flowers.

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Flowers ready to be baked!

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Flowers after baking in the oven.

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And serve! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Baked, Recipes with Local Veggies

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 replies »

  1. Hi and awesome post! It’s funny because soon after I saw your post, I went to the farmers market and saw garlic scapes there (I had never heard of them before your post!) I was told that the ‘flower’ part of the garlic scapes should not be used (only the other part of it) and I also found out that taking the scapes off of the garlic plant enables the garlic bulb to get bigger (if it is not taken off, the bulb won’t get too big). Have you heard of this or do you have any more insight/explanation about this?

    I also wanted to mention that I tried cooking with the scapes but am wondering whether they should still be kind of crunchy tasting after you cook them (or if you should cook them until they get a lot softer)?

    I look forward to your response – thanks!

    • Hi Natasa!
      That’s a very interesting fact about garlic scapes! I have not heard of this before but it is true! Otherwise the farmer would have to wait 2-3 years to get large garlic bulbs!
      I think you cook the garlic scapes to your liking, but if you overcook them, they become soggy and flavourless. Personally, I would rather have them a bit crunchy, but its your choice! Its best served lightly fried in pasta, or with eggs. Think of it as being similar to adding chives to your meal. I’m sure it would taste good over a baked poato too!

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