Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ham Terrine with Organic Spring Garlic Salad

When I watch FoodTV the chef's are alway saying that you have to draw inspiration from fresh ingredients found on the tables of enthousiastic merchants at markets. Some times I think that that's only available to big city dwellers, sort of like to those who frequent the famous Green Market in New York. But our humble little farmer's market here in Moncton also has great things to offer. I've said it time and time again but right now, at the end of spring, we've got all of these young vegetables showing up. It's great.

I found on the table of the Market's organic farmer a selection of veggy treats. The first were the long stalks of spring garlic. It looks sort of like a gigantic green onion but has a mild garlic flavour. I also found these little radish looking things that the informed me were small young white turnips that his teenage apprentice was eating like candy. These beautiful little vegetables also had edible leaves that had little holes in them. Proof of the organic farming means of this farmer. A case of give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!

I tossed the spring garlic and white turnips with organic mesclun, toasted pita chips and my balsamic honey dressing. The dressing is equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil, with about a quarter of that of honey, smashed garlic, salt and pepper. I first tasted this vinegrette at the Parker House in Sudbury and the owner wouldn't give me his recipe. Said that his recipe depended on propertions. Well I did it. So there!

Along with the salad, I served some delicious ham terrine I bought at the French charcutier La Ferme du Diamant. This is without a doubt the best ham I've ever eaten. It wasn't too salty like most hams so I assume it was cooked in flavoured stock or something. The terrine was built with big hung of ham with gelatine, loads of onions and some parsley. There might be something else in there but that sounds about right. I have to get some recipes from those guys before I move from Moncton in a few years. I certainly support them enough.

This supper was light, fresh and all about the farmer's market. It feels good to know the people who are making and growing the food I put in my mouth. That's how it should be in my opinion. Sometimes it really was better before the invention of globalisation and international production of goods.

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