May Happenings!

We kick off the month with the annual Hike for Hospice at Maycourt at 114 Cameron Avenue in Old Ottawa South. This year the Red Apron will be serving up a Brown Bag Brunch to all registered hikers. If you are reading this article before Sunday May 3, it’s not too late to register. Visit our website for details.

May is also the time when our thoughts turn to gardening. Many people in our community are renewing their interest in growing their own vegetables. To facilitate this, one of our favourite organic farmers has come up with a truly brilliant offering to make growing vegetables for ‘newbies’ accessible. For the first time this year, Juniper Farm is offering Organic Garden Packages.   The plan provides a combination of seeds, seedlings, plans and instructions to allow you to provide fresh organic vegetables for your family even if you have only a small amount of space.

Operating out of a pick-up location at the Lansdowne Farmers’ Market on Sundays, you will have access to their seedlings and know-how. For more information on this innovative offering, visit juniperfarm.ca

Here are this month’s recipes, utilizing ingredients that should be available at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market this month!

rideau pines asparagus

Organic Greens with Goat Cheese, Grilled Asparagus & Spring Ramp Dressing– Serves 4

This salad makes four lunch portions, or can be served with a seared breast of chicken or salmon as a dinner.

6           cups organic local greens ***
1            bunch young asparagus
½         cup olive oil or good quality canola oil
¼         cup white wine vinegar
2-3       ramps (wild garlic)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1           cup Chèvre or Feta ***

*** A number of vendors at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market sell both organic greenhouse greens and lovely goat and sheep milk cheeses, including Canreg Station, Glengarry Cheesemakers & Folies Bergères

Toss the asparagus in a small amount of oil and season with salt & pepper. Grill on the BBQ (or sear in a sauté pan). Slice the ramps thinly using the whites and light green parts only. Whisk oil and vinegar together, season with salt and pepper, and whisk in the ramps. Toss greens with vinaigrette and separate onto four plates. Top each plate with ¼ of the asparagus. Serve immediately.

Maple Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cake:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated maple sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups chopped rhubarb

Oatmeal Topping:

½ cup regular large flake rolled oats ***
¼ cup brown sugar or maple sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup cold butter

***Hopefully you will be able to find local rhubarb at the market. Castor River Farm sells rolled oats. There should be a number of maple syrup producers on hand as well.

Topping: in a bowl, combine oats, sugar, walnuts, flour, maple syrup & cinnamon. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Evenly press onto the bottom of a well greased 9-inch bundt pan.

Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla, mix to combine. Fold in chopped rhubarb.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir this into the creamed mixture until blended.

Spoon the batter evenly over the topping.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool, and run a knife around the outside edge of the cake to invert onto cake platter.