Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More local food joy

August is just the best. Local cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and celery, plus loads of others I'm sure, are abundant in markets right now. Plums and pears soon will be. So tonight I made splendid cauliflower curry, using a half of a huge head of Ontario cauliflower, based on a tasty recipe from a friend and fellow local blogger that I have used for some time now. I did wilt some spinach leaves into it near the end, and tossed in some chickpeas as well. The tomatoes came from my own balcony, and they are just delicious. Small, but juicy and perfectly ripe. I normally skip raw tomatoes, but these are too damn good. Coriander seeds from my balcony garden as well, and I'm cruisin'.

There's a thriving basil plant out there as well, and I lack great ideas for it. It's the happiest basil I have ever seen - it seems a shame to eat it. I guess I'll make pesto, unless any of you have a better suggestion that's dead easy.

Ottawa has some fine restaurants, which I enjoyed greatly while I was there. A notable, but pricey, choice was The Urban Pear in the Glebe. I chose them out of the touristy guide in my hotel room, as their ad touted local, seasonal fare, but I hadn't predicted the priciness, alas. So rather than sink my budget with an entree, I made a perfectly tasty meal of two appetizers: the local cauliflower soup - really a bisque of sorts -



- and some brie in phyllo pastry with strawberries and summer squash.



The ever-diminishing glass of wine in the photos is an award-winning 2003 Chardonnay from the Niagara College Teaching Winery, whose delicious prizewinning wines led me to sample this, and I loved it.

So, though my response to the Local Food Challenge is haphazard at best, I'm having a swell time showing off our local goodness!

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