During the height of the growing season, visiting the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (OFM) is my version of a kid’s trip to the candy store. The selection and quality of the products available is dazzling, and sets my mind spinning about all the things I would like to cook. Having the opportunity to receive a mystery basket of produce courtesy of the OFM was a genuine delight – I had a so much fun twice last summer creating dishes with the wide assortment of locally-grown goodies (check out the Constantly Cooking archives for previous Farmers’ Feast inspired recipes). This year, for the first time, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is operating throughout the winter, thanks to its return to Lansdowne Park. When I was asked to participate in a winter Farmers’ Feast cooking challenge, I readily accepted.

basket of winter market products


Here is an itemized list of the basket’s suppliers and contents:

Jambican Studio Gardens: sundried daikon, Miso: aged 1 year, Black turtle beans
Roots Down Organic Farm: carrots, turnips, shallots
Bryson Farms: Just Tomatoes (roasted), squash
Tiralisin Fold: Hiyak Sirloin (cross between highland cattle and yak)
Barkley’s Apple Orchard: Heritage Corn Flour, Apple Butter
Hall’s Apple Market: apples, applewood chips for smoking
Castor River Farm: oat groats (Cavena Nuda; also called “local rice”)
Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy: Hillbilly cheese
Bearbrook Game Meats: duck eggs
Maple Country Sugar Bush: Maple Syrup

I was able to prepare a week’s worth of scrumptious meals thanks to the wintertime bounty of our local farmers and food producers. The dishes included:

Mini Cheese Soufflés
Cornflour Biscuits with Maple Butter
Smoky Hyak Chili with Black Turtle Beans
Carrot, Turnip and Apple Salad with Maple-Miso Dressing and Sun-dried Daikon
Cavena Nuda (Oat Groats) Risotto with Roasted Squash and Grated Hillbilly Cheese
Dutch Baby with Apples and Apple Butter
Please consider visiting the Ottawa Farmers’ Market now and throughout the year to support our hardworking local food producers.

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