August is Harvest Season

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BountyBountiful Harvest.

One of my favourite times of the year is harvest season. Northern Ontario produces some of the most flavourful produce. I’m not sure if it’s because of the short growing season or the love that goes into the cultivation of our produce but I do know that we’re very fortunate to live in an area that is so abundant.

In the coming weeks, tomatoes will be overflowing many farmer’s market stands and subsequently finding their way into many kitchens. Whether making sauces, salads or eating them like an apple, the tomato is a healthy fruit that has so much to offer in its versatility.

I’ve already put in my order for more than 300lbs of tomatoes which will be turned into a delicious batch of tomato sauce. I use the sauce as a base for soups, pasta, stuffed peppers and so many other menu items that I could be here for a day talking about them.

Garlic, of course is a very important factor in a great sauce. I buy local, Canadian garlic and find I need so much less because of the quality of the bulbs. The aroma of garlic on the stove brings me back to my early years in Toronto when my family would go to different farms and pick vegetables. In the weeks that followed we would all gather in the kitchen and produce some fabulous canned products. Garlic was always a key ingredient in these wondrous preserves.

Basil, whether the fragrant Italian Basil or sweet Thai Basil, it’s an ingredient that is key to an amazing pasta sauce. Friends have taught me to appreciate the subtle differences the varieties add to certain dishes. Although Thai Basil wouldn’t normally be found in many pasta bases, I love the hint of cinnamon and spice it gives to my tomato base.

If you are looking for something to do and want to source out some really great local produce, meats and condiments check out your local farmer’s market. You may be surprised at what is being grown in your area.

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