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Markets are the perfect place to find your cooking inspiration

Nothing inspires a chef like fresh local produce. On Saturday last week I turned down my street towards the Robin’s Nest and I couldn’t help but smile: the familiar white tents were out and the vendors were showing fresh plants, flowers, baked goods and wonderful produce. Asparagus and rhubarb are the first to freshen up our palettes after a long winter of comfortable flavours.

A version of these recipes were introduced to us by our husbands!  While we are busy working on a Saturday they are home taking care of things and creating recipes of their own. You never know where the next great dish will come from.
This Saturday I encourage you to grab a basket and take a walk, enjoy a coffee and pop over to the market.  Recreate these recipes for your breakfast and Sunday dinner.  Fun, fresh and fabulous food is our passion and the market provides the local inspiration.  Enjoy your long weekend and Happy cooking.

Roasted Asparagus with Floralane Cherry Tomato

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, medium, baby finger size
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs or crushed croutons
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil or local cold pressed soya oil
  • 1/2 pint Floralane cherry tomato (cut in half)
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp pesto
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F or BBQ to medium high heat;
Place asparagus in a oven-proof glass or ceramic dish. Drizzle the asparagus with a tablespoon of plive oil. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan or asiago cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Parmesan can be salty so don’t get carried away;

Roast in oven or BBQ for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crispy;
In a medium bowl combine cherry tomatoes, onion, pesto, remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar. Put on top of the asparagus and place in oven or BBQ for another 3 minutes to warm through. Adjust the cooking time if the asparagus is thin or thick.

Rhubarb Oat Flaxseed Muffins
Ingredients1 cup oats

  • 1 cup Balkan-style yogurt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp grated orange rind
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped local rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds and 2 tbsp of oats for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 12-muffin tray and add muffin papers. In a large bowl combine oats, yogurt, sugar, oil, egg and orange rind;
In separate bowl stir flour with flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then stir into the wet oat mixture. Toss in the rhubarb until mixed through.
Divide amongst the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle the top with the flax seeds and rolled oats. Bake in preheated oven 23-25 minutes, until golden and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack.

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