Toronto Market Inspiration – July 27th

One of my favourite places in the city is the Evergreen Brickworks Farmer’s Market. It’s a pretty special place, and although I often make myself visit other markets in Toronto, for the sake of variety, I’m always happy to come back to the Brickworks. This week I paid special attention to my interaction with the vendors, and noticed how different it is from when I shop at the grocery store or even some other markets I’ve been to in the city. The difference lies in that at this particular market, the people that grow/make/care for the food are almost always the ones that come and sell it, and what a difference it makes. They greet their customers with genuine smiles, they share their food with pride, and they accept payment with gratitude. THAT makes my food taste better :)

Coming back with market goodies usually leads to some things being randomly thrown together for lunch. Strawberries are still going strong in Ontario, so I’ve been making variations of roasted strawberry dressings. This tahini-poppy seed one is my current fave. I can imagine it going well with many things, but inspired by what came home with me this weekend, I made this peach, cucumber, and purslane salad.

For the rest of the summer and fall, I’m going to experiment with a little series of posts inspired by what’s coming home with me from the market. I’ve been thinking about organizing my posts this way (in various series) to encourage myself to experiment with some new themes, let me know what you think!

Roasted Strawberry & Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 2 cups trimmed and halved strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 water + more to adjust consistency
  • 1 tsp. honey (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  1. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, roast the stawberries at 325 F for 1 hour, or until they are totally soft and the juices are starting to caramelize
  2. In a food processor, puree the roasted strawberries with tahini, salt, honey, and 1/4 cup water.
  3. Scrape the sides and continue processing until the dressing is totally smooth. Add more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time to adjust to desired consistency. Note that the dressing will thicken quite a bit when refrigerated.
  4. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  5. Makes approx. 1 cup of dressing. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
For the salad in the picture, slice one peach and one small cucumber. Serve on a red swiss chard leaf, topped with chopped purslane and the strawberry dressing.

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