I love spending a leisurely Saturday morning wandering around a local farmers’ market. Nothing tastes as wonderful as fresh fruit and vegetables from a local farm.
One of my favourite markets is the Farmer’s Market at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. This wonderful project has turned an abandoned brick factory in the heart of the city into a green space filled with nature walks, ponds, cafes, craft stores and educational space.
Some of the space has been dedicated to natural art installations that compliment the environment.
There are nature walks and protected areas that house the local wildlife. You can even rent bikes to explore the trails along the Don Valley for the day.
It is a wonderful place to visit early in the morning if you are looking for a tranquil space filled with birds, turtles and nature. I like to grab a coffee and sit, quietly, in the midst of the natural surroundings and just listen.
Every weekend the Brick Works hosts a large famer’s market that houses dozens of growers selling organic produce, meat, flowers and preserves. The casual atmosphere creates a relaxed feeling for the visitors as they wander the rows of stalls listening to live music from a local artist, while sampling wonderful delicacies.
When I was there I picked up some lovely organic golden and red beets to create this salad.
This recipe has been cobbled together from a couple of recipes from Foodland Ontario and Fine Cooking Magazine. I love the combination of the roasted beets and bacon with goat cheese and apples. It is a great Autumn salad for a lunch of even as a side for a holiday meal.
Roasted Beet, Bacon and Apple Salad
2 medium red beets, unpeeled and scrubbed
2 medium golden beets, unpeeled and scrubbed
2 slices of bacon
3 tbsp. (45 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp. (25 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. (15 mL) maple syrup
2 tsp. (10 mL) horseradish
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) each salt and pepper
4 cups (1 L) mixed greens
4 cups (1 L) arugula
1 medium unpeeled apple, cored and diced
1 pkg. (113 g) creamy goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
Wrap beets in double layer of foil and sprinkle with a little olive oil. Roast on baking sheet in 425°F (220°C) oven until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool enough to handle; peel and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick wedges.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Let cool on paper towel; crumble. Toast the pumpkin seeds in the same skillet where you have cooked the bacon until they become golden brown.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, horseradish, salt and pepper.
Place mixed greens and arugula in large bowl; toss with bacon, beets and apple. Toss with dressing. Serve sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.