Come and visit the Rossland Farmer’s Market, held weekly throughout the summer. Since it's so close to the loft, I am lucky to visit on a regular basis.
The atmosphere of never knowing what you will find, plus the inspiration to cook using these amazing offerings is what I love about a farmer’s market!
The late summer produce of squashes, cabbage, and potatoes are starting to appear in the wicker bins at the farmer’s stalls and it has inspired me to try cooking with new vegetables I haven't used before.
One great tip when encountering unfamiliar produce, is to speak with the farmers - they can provide excellent suggestions on how best to use the vegetables in creative and delicious ways. It never hurts to sample before you purchase either (a lot of farmers will have small tasting portions at their stands)! That can be the stepping stone to purchasing and then to the beginning of a fabulous new cooking experience.
Last week I picked up potatoes, goose neck squash, and beets. The goose neck squash was the wild card for me, but after tasting a raw slice I was pleasantly surprised that this bright orange squash, which resembles an ornamental gourd, has such a mild and creamy texture. The farmer suggested that roasting the squash would be a great way prepare this funny looking vegetable, so I picked one up to try. While no recipe came to mind at that moment, I knew my creative juices would start flowing.
August has brought many friends and family to visit our new home in Rossland and sometimes that means a casserole is in order to either feed a group, or to make easy leftovers that can be quickly packed to the river for a day of fly fishing.
While scanning my favourite cookbook Rebar, by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz, I found a recipe for roasted vegetable pasticcio that included roasted zuchinni, eggplant, and red onion tossed with pasta and lots of cheese. I decided to swap the new goose neck squash for the eggplant thinking that the flavours would be similar. The result was delicious and the goose neck squash was a perfect addition to the casserole adding not only taste but colour to an otherwise bland looking dish.
I would say this squash is now on my list of farmer’s market purchases and I will make this recipe again for a group.