Summer Vegetable “Ceviche”

Another long weekend is upon us and it’s sure to be a great time to BBQ and entertain in the great outdoors.  But by this time in the summer in Calgary, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of beef on a bun, burgers, corn dogs, and all sorts of other not-quite-so-healthy-or-appetizing meals.  Some of you may be looking for ways to break the Stampede-induced fried food cycle, get back on the farm-fresh wagon, or just try a new side to go with your perfectly grilled steak.  Well, we have a vibrant and zippy ceviche-esque salad marinated in lime juice dressing that is a beautiful accompaniment to whatever your little grilling hearts desires; a surprisingly tasty potluck side, or even a no-meat Monday dish.  Any way you slice it, it’s going to be yummy.

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Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 cup freshly shucked garden peas from Innisfail Growers Co-op

1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced from Souto Farms

1 small red onion, thinly sliced from Souto Farms

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) from Souto Farms

2 B.C. nectarines, cut into thin wedges from Souto Farms

1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes from Cherry Pit

1 scallion, thinly sliced from Cherry Pit

2 fresh limes from Cherry Pit

1 large purple bell pepper, finely julienned from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 pint cherry and sun kissed yellow tomatoes, halved from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley from Terra Farms

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

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The real beauty of this recipe is that if you can slice and dice and squeeze a lime, you can nail this great salad.

In a large bowl, whisk the zest  of one lime and the juice of two limes with the olive oil, jalapeño and diced red onion; season the dressing with salt to taste. *If you’re not a huge fan of spice, just add 5 or 6 jalapeño slices.  If, however, you like it hot, use the whole jalapeño.

Now comes for the veggie prep…. shuck your peas, slice the corn off the cob, cut the nectarines into thin wedges, and slice up the avocado, pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Gently fold all the vegetables together with the spicy lime dressing.

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Refrigerate the “ceviche” for at least 2 hours.

Fold in the parsley and scallion just before serving and serve the salad chilled.  We chose to enjoy a lovely Silver Sage Beef grilled flat iron steak.  This salad, though, is a perfect pairing to sautéed fish, seared scallops, or grilled chicken.  Heck, you could even swing by Blu Seafood for some of their incredibly sweet prawns and toss them right into the salad for a real ceviche. This can really be paired with just about anything or be enjoyed on its own and is sure to impress.

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The salad can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

BBQ Season Has Arrived!

May long weekend is upon us, the sun is shining, tulips are poking through the felt-like-forever-frozen earth, seeds are going in the garden, and barbecues are being fired up. It’s Spring! It always feels like an eternity that we wait to shed our winter coats and get outside. And when it finally happens, we go hog wild. The Spring and Summer are so fleeting here in Calgary that we take every sunny opportunity to enjoy the beautiful produce and fresh fish, local meat, and poultry that the market has to offer.

Silver Sage Beef is a full service shop with a complete range of cuts available and an on-site butcher to meet customers’ custom requests. The cattle are raised naturally on wholesome prairie grass on the 100-year old Zentner family farm located south of Cypress Hills; free of all artificial hormones and antibiotics, you can be assured that the dry-aged beef is flavorful, tender, and knock-your-socks-off yummy…. perfect for BBQ season! Even we can’t resist firing up the barbecue or building the first campfire of the year, we bring you a simple, Albertan favorite: BBQ Burgers. And because the greenhouses are offering such beautiful produce these days, we’re going to pair it with a fresh and easy side salad with a homemade BBQ sauce vinaigrette.

Burger Ingredients

Market-Sourced Ingredients

Serves 6

6 Fresh-Made Beef Patties from Silver Sage Beef

6 Buns from Yum Bakery

Seasoned Pepper Blend from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

1 jar of Dill Pickles from MacFarlane’s

1 head of Butter Lettuce, 1 bag of Tomatoes (your choice of variety), mini cucumbers from Gull Valley Greenhouses

BBQ Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/4 cup BBQ Sauce from Big D’s (mild or spicy depending on your preference)

The juice of 2 Lemons (and zest from 1) from Souto Farms

1 tablespoon Nixon Honey from Innisfail Growers

1/4 cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

*This is where you can get creative! You like cheese on your burgers? Sure! Grab some cheese from Fresh DELIcious or Sylvan Star Cheese. Add bacon! Spragg’s Meat Shop have some killer delicious pork goodies.

Want to add more veggies to your salad? Why not?! Radishes, peppers, green beans, fresh herbs… if you like it, throw it in there. Good food is best when it isn’t too complicated; don’t overthink it. If you like it, use it. We guarantee you can find just what you’re craving in one stop at the market.

Dressing Collage

We’re big fans of homemade vinaigrette’s because they’re dead simple and delicious. Start by cutting all of the veggies up and tossing in a bowl with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.  In a mason jar, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and give it a good shake.  Pour about half onto the cut veggies and toss.  Let people build their own salad by serving veggies with lettuce family-style.

Burger Collage

The Silver Sage burgers are perfectly seasoned but we added a little pepper blend to kick it up a notch. These burgers are juicy, flavourful, and are in a league of their own. It would be a crying shame to slather BBQ sauce on them… Don’t you dare. We’re giving you a delicious homemade salad dressing to appease all you saucy burger lovers out there. Trust us.

Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Brush the burger with a little olive oil and season with the Silk Road pepper blend. Grill until slightly charred, turning once (10 minutes for medium-rare). Now, we’re going out on a limb and telling you to ignore what your mother taught you: do NOT squish the burger with a spatula! Let it be. If you want, add cheese for the last 2 minutes of grilling, close the lid to let it melt. You can also place the buns on the grill for 1 minute to toast if you’d like.  Place the burgers onto the toasted buns, gather around a full table with family and friends, and enjoy!

Eating Time Collage