Farmers markets are operating at full speed all across the city almost in every neighbourhood. As a local newspaper pointed recently "Summer is time for Torontonians to remember they're surrounded by incredible greenery to the north, south, east and west - and not just on weekend road trips." I honestly feel blessed to be able to buy local, eat local and support local farmers and food artisans. Close to where we live, there is a charming farmer's market that can be found in the parking lot of the historic Montgomery's Inn every Wednesday. I love visiting there; not only is it a small uncrowded place, but also it welcomes farmers from around the province who come there to sell their sustainably grown products. After your third visit, you know all of them and they are happy to chat with you about their veggies and fruits, what is in season, when the cherries are coming, the exact time the strawberries you are about to buy are being picked... and other passions of the farmer's heart. On top of that, probably the most interesting offerings at the market, are the fresh baked breads, which are made in the Inn wood-fired oven. 
This past Wednesday, the market was GREEN. From baby kale to lettuce, sorrel, arugula, and all kinds of fresh herbs, Ontario's growing season was starting to release its bounty. I bought my kale and garlic scapes from the young farmer who looked as if he had just popped up from the pages of Anne of Green Gables. I have always wanted to take his photo, but he seems so humble, shy, vain-less, in love with what he is doing, that I always feel as this is going to be the most inappropriate and uncomfortable thing I would have done in such a moment. Perhaps, next time I will feel more confident to ask (Nith Valley Organics sells at the market every Wednesday). I didn't have any idea in mind what I am going to do with my greens. My men, especially my teenage son, are not big fans of kale, despite the evidence of it being the "superfood". So, I thought of making something more versatile that can be added to other foods. Pesto! Easy, tasty, healthy, a wonderful way to enjoy fresh greens; can be put on pizza, pasta, soups, salads, topped on chicken and vegetables.
I mixed kale, garlic scapes, basil, pecans, and before even pouring the pesto into jars had a slice of crusty red wine walnut bread from the marker's bakery spread with this fresh green summer goodness.

Ah, Summer! 


"When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is."  (Alice Waters)                                                                           
                                                                                                                                        




Homemade Pesto with Kale & Garlic Scape


Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
2/3 cup ground pecans 
(walnuts or pine nuts would be great also)
1/3 basil leaves 
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup olive oil 
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese


Directions:

In a food processor, pulse together kale, garlic scapes, pecans, basil leaves, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper until coarsely ground. 
While processor is running, add olive oil. Process until just combined. Add grated parmesan cheese until smooth.
Store in glass jars and refrigerate for up to one week.
Makes 2 jars of 250ml. 






Have a wonderful Canada Day weekend and Happy Fourth of July! 





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