By Jodi Kay
Editor’s note: We’re sorry to say that Jodi Kay will be leaving town, so this will be her last column and recipe. Thanks Jodi for all the food tips!
It’s always around this time of year when I start to crave a little bit more green on my plate. The winter palate of carrots and cabbages has worn a little thin. With spring seemingly just around the corner, I start dreaming of things like spinach, broccoli and asparagus (oh my!) Eating local all year round can be a bit of challenge, especially in our snow-covered town and most notably in March. Every two weeks I head to the winter market in search of a little kitchen inspiration, and I’m always happy to see Hermann Bruns and his colourful assortment of produce.
Hermann, along with his wife Louise, are the organic farmers that run Wild Flight Farms in Mara and have been bringing their beloved vegetables here to Revelstoke for the past 25 years. In the middle of February, WWF is still offering an assortment of B.C.-grown vegetables, including carrots, beets, watermelon radish, many different varieties of apples and squashes, and, of course, three different types of potatoes (Hermann’s favourite). Among the familiar winter produce you will also find kale, broccoli and yams. “We felt that in order for the winter market to succeed here, it was important to have a reasonably diverse selection of produce,” explains Hermann, “so we decided to offset diminishing local vegetable supplies with similar imported ones.” All of the price signs have a code in the top left corner that denotes where the produce was grown (WFF = Wild Flight Farm, B.C., US, MX). All produce grown on the farm (WFF), sourced from other B.C. farms or import is strictly certified organic. A bustling winter market is something I look forward to every two weeks, and I am so grateful for those who make it a success.
As someone who is very connected to local food production, I wondered what Hermann is most looking forward to as the weather starts to warm. “Certainly, our first over-wintered greens, green onions, and fresh garlic greens are a treat,” he says. “Notice the repetition of “green” — my favourite colour!”
For more information on what Wild Flight Farms will be bringing to the market, sign up for the weekly newsletter by visiting the market stand or the website (www.wildflightfarm.ca). You can also find more information by following the Revelstoke Winter Market Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/RevelstokeWinterMarket/)
Warm Kale, Broccoli and Grain Salad Bowl with Cider Dijon Dressing
A warm bowl of green things to hold us over until spring. The broccoli and kale are sturdy enough to stand up against the dressing in the fridge, so dressed leftovers can be kept for a day or two without getting soggy. I like to steam my broccoli until just tender and vibrant green, more blanched than cooked, but if you prefer a different texture or cooking method, feel free to go with that. It is important, however, to let the kale crisp up a bit around the edges, the flavour is reminiscent of toasty kale chips and add great crunch to this salad.
1 head broccoli, cut into little florets
1 bunch curly green kale, about 5 stalks
1/4 nuts of choice; walnuts, hazelnuts, slivered almonds
4 tablespoons seeds of choice: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt
1 cup cooked grains of choice: wheat berries, buckwheat, quinoa, lentils
Optional add in: cooked chickpeas, white beans, cooked salmon, crumbled feta.
What to do
Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden. Remove and set aside. Add nuts to the dry skillet and toast until golden and fragrant. Add to seeds and set aside.
Steam the broccoli in a double boiler or blanch it in a pot of boiling water for a minute or two. Once the broccoli is vibrant green the the tops of the florets are tender, drain and rinse under cold water, set aside.
Remove the kale leaves from the stems and give the leaves a rough chop. Add a drizzle of heat-resistant oil to a pan over medium/high heat, then toss in the kale leaves with a good pinch of salt. Sautée the leaves until just some are starting to get crispy around the edges. Remove from heat.
Toss cooked grains, steamed broccoli and crispy kale leaves together in a large bowl. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, olive and black pepper and then pour over the salad. Top with toasty nut and seeds. Serve warm or refrigerate for later.
This column first appeared in the March issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.