Berries: 3 Ways

If you’ve been around the market lately, you know we’re bursting at the seams with beautiful berries.  And that means you can pick up a whack of juicy berries for cheap from one of our great case lot sales!  But what do you do with so many berries?!  Well, we have lots of ideas… berry parfaits, berry bundt cakes, berry salad, berry soup, berry jam, berry ice cream… we could keep going but we won’t.  (Check our Pinterest Page for more berry ideas and recipes).  For now, we’re offering you three delicious berry recipes of varying levels of skill and effort.  Let’s start with the easy one… and if this heat holds out, one you’ll likely use a lot!

Berry Sorbet 1

Berry Sorbet

Market-Sourced Ingredients

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh cherries (if you’re crazy enough, like us, and you have a cherry pitter…. have at ‘er. You can absolutely omit the cherries and use 3 cups of raspberries and blueberries each)
1/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
*For the purpose of these recipes, all produce sourced from Souto Farms; case lots sales can be found at other friendly vendors in the market.

Directions: Place the raspberries in a blender and blitz until smooth.  If you’re not a fan of the seeds, pour the raspberries through a wire mesh strainer and press them with the back of a spatula against the sides of the strainer in order to squeeze out the juices. Discard the pulp and seeds that remain in the strainer.

Berry Sorbet 2

Combine the raspberry juice, blueberries (and cherries if you’ve chosen to use them), lemon juice, and the sugar in an electric blender, cover, and process until smooth. If you have a cute sous chef, ask them to come help; there’s something about a swirly-whirly ice cream machine that’s just fascinating.  Not to mention, they get awfully excited when they finally see the end product!

Berry Sorbet 3

Pour the mix into a 2- quart hand- turned or electric freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle the zest of one lemon on top of the sorbet before placing in the freezer. *If you do not have an ice cream maker, have no fear, the puree can be poured directly into a container and placed in the freezer as is.

Berry Sorbet 4

Let ripen (read: sit in a freezer) for about an hour.  You can serve garnished with the fresh fruits and mint sprigs.

And now for something just as simple, slightly more versatile, and just as delicious.

Homemade Blueberry Sauce

Market-Sourced Ingredients

2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 1 tbsp water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Blueberry Syrup 1

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir frequently but gently, and bring to a low boil.  In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and tablespoon of water.  Turn heat down and slowly stir the corn starch into the blueberries, taking care not to crush the blueberries.  Simmer until the homemade blueberry sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla and lemon zest. *If this sauce is too thick for you, slowly add in water until you reach the desired consistency. The amount of sugar that you use will depend on the sweetness of your berries and how sweet you like your syrup, simply adjust the amount to suit your taste.  No lemons on hand? This homemade blueberry sauce recipe tastes really great with orange juice and zest.

And now for the one that takes a little more effort and time, but that will be sure to please your family as they roll out of bed in the morning, climb out of the tent, or pack up for a picnic.

2013-07-23 11.21.41

These aren’t exactly a healthy breakfast, but they’re darn yummy and with the streuselly topping you might see on crumbles or coffee cakes, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream they’ll even double as a dessert!  Instead, they’re more like a delicious citrusy blueberry sandwich cookie.  But they’re worth every calorie.  We promise.

You could easily swap the blueberries for raspberries or blackberries… or even cherries.  Heck, peaches would be pretty great too.

Berry Breakfast Bars 1

Blueberry Crumb Breakfast Bars

Market-Sourced Ingredients

For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the blueberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Berry Breakfast Bars 2

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.  *You might wonder why we would do this… by buttering the parchment, you’re helping the crumb bind into a more solid bottom.  Don’t skip this step or you’ll end up with a crumbly base, blech.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, coconut, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.  Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the blueberry filling.

Berry Breakfast Bars 3

Make the blueberry filling: In a medium bowl, gently stir the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together until the blueberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the blueberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.  Or wrap them individually in parchment paper and freeze for up to 1 month.

So what do you think?  Are you inspired to pick up a case of incredible berries and try your hand at whipping up a summery sorbet or smothering a fresh batch of pancakes with your homemade syrup?  Go ahead… you can do it.  And your friends will be impressed too.

Cheery Cherry Sangria

Cherry Sangria 6

There are a few things that instantly come to mind when you think of summer… BBQing, picnics, patios and sangria are the first things that pop into our head. Luckily, we’ve had some beautiful sunny days as of late here in Calgary to kick off summer. Surrounded by beautiful fresh produce and local products here at the market, we can’t help but think of what we’ll throw on the grill when we kick back and relax with friends. It doesn’t quite feel like a backyard celebration without a frosty beverage in hand. And we have a great, simple recipe featuring our local Field Stone Fruit Wines. Glug in some wine, throw in some fruit, serve over ice….. yup, that sounds perfect!  Here is our take on Field Stone’s Cheery Cherry Sangria

Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 bottle (750 ml) Field Stone Cherry Fruit Wine

1 peach

12 cherries

1 lemon

1 lime

4 shots Wild Black Cherry Field Stone Dessert Wine

1 can club soda

*All produce sourced from Souto Farms

Cherry Sangria 1

Sangria has to be one of the easiest cocktails to make.  Grab some good quality ingredients, mix everything together in a pitcher, let sit so all the flavors muddle together, and enjoy!  Let’s break it down.

Cherry Sangria 3

First, add the juice of half of the lemon and lime each to the pitcher.  Slice the peach and remaining lemon and lime.  Pit and halve the cherries. Throw all fruit into the pitcher.

Cherry Sangria 4

Glug in the entire bottle of Cherry Fruit Wine.

Cherry Sangria 5

Add the 4 shots of Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine.  Mix together and chill for at least one hour.

Add club soda just before serving.  Pour into a couple of wine glasses, pass to a friend, kick up your feet and enjoy!

Eggplant Caviar

Eggplant Caviar 1Inspired by the new French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier, featuring what’s ripe and in season to create vegetarian recipes with a French twist (many of which are gluten-free and dairy-free), we’re making Caviar d’Aubergine aux Olives Noires this week.  Doesn’t that sound decadent and impressive?  Whether you’re a culinary king, a Calgarian, or a Canadian, there’s something to celebrate this weekend with our 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off here at the market, the Calgary Stampede, and National BBQ Day.  And because each of those events comes with its own set of indulgences, we decided to offer a lighter recipe that can be added to any dinner party or backyard BBQ to impress your guests.

Eggplant is that vegetable.  The one you dreaded as a child, the one that hits the table for a special occasion but is loved by few, the one that’s pigeon-holed for being difficult to perfect.  But, eggplant is also beautiful and silky and healthy.  And this recipe is wildly easy and delicious too!

Roasting is a foolproof method for cooking eggplants, but with the heat of our summer and BBQing in our blood, we’re going to throw these on the grill.  Clotilde Dusoulier purées the flesh of her roasted eggplant to a “marvelously silky spread to serve with slices of baguette, on sandwiches as a spread, or even on a bowl of warm rice”.  We think this tapenade-style delight would be marvelous on quinoa, warm pasta, pita, or even as a vegetable dip.

Market-Sourced Ingredients

Serves 6-8

2 small graffiti eggplants from The Cucumber Man

2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers and 1 Lemon from Souto Farms

12 Kalamata olives from 2 Greek Gals

1 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf parsely from Terra Farms

Sea Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

Roast or grill the eggplants a few hours in advance.  Use a knife to pierce half a dozen slits in each eggplant and stuff with the garlic slivers.

Eggplant Caviar 2

Oil each eggplant and season with sea salt and pepper.  Roast at 350°F, flipping them to prevent burning, until completely soft, about 45 minutes.  Set aside to cool completely.

Halve the eggplants lengthwise and with a tablespoon, scoop out as much flesh as possible with the garlic cloves.  It’s ok if a little skin comes with it.  Put it all in a food processor or a blender, adding the olives, the juice and zest of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and a dash of your favorite hot sauce (if that’s the way you roll).  We added Marash Chili flakes from The Silk Road Spice Merchant for their slow heat and slight acidity.

Eggplant Caviar 3

Process until smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to wow your family and friends.

Dollop on fresh baguette; we prefer the bread grilled to give that crunch to balance out the silky eggplant. 

Eggplant Caviar 4

Tip: younger, smaller eggplants which are sweeter are preferable.  Regardless of the size, pick eggplants that feel heavy, have a smooth and shiny skin, and a stem-end “hat” that looks green and fresh.