This is the second post this week where I’m focusing on the food of the Fraser Valley.
We’re incredibly lucky to have such lush farmland just a few minutes’ drive away (okay, so it might be closer to an hour, but hey, it’s still pretty local), where we can source locally grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats.
I’m going to skip the meats, but I do really support an environment where you know your farmer, and your farmer knows his or her product, be it animal or vegetable.
One of our stops on our Fraser Valley Food Tour was at Milner Valley Cheese. There’s something really cool about being able to see (and pet!) the goats that make the milk that they turn into cheese. It’s a full farm-to-table operation there. The goats are milked twice daily, and then that milk is turned into cheese right there on the premises.
That means it’s pretty much the freshest chevre you’ve ever eaten. It was delicious. I was pretty smitten with their aged goat cheese, which had a similar consistency to a parmesan or an aged gouda. Oh–and by the way–they also make their own goat gelato. Yeah! And it’s really tangy and yummy.
We came home from our Fraser Valley Foodie Tour with a bunch of beautiful, fresh ingredients–produce, cheese and berries–and then of course, I had to do something with it all!
Angie’s book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley not only profiles local food producers in the valley, but also those who make the food. There are profiles of chefs, and there are recipes that will help you use up all the yummy goodness.
One such recipe is Angie’s Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Chickpeas.
- 1 lb small carrots, peeled
- 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled
- 1 can chickpeas (drained–save the aquafaba!)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Halve the carrots and parsnips lenghtwise. Place on a baking pan in a single layer, and then add the chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the chili flakes and the salt and then toss to combine. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, stir well, and return to bake for another 15 minutes, until carrots and parsnips are fork-tender and chickpeas are crispy.
- Transfer to a platter to serve, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses, chunks of feta, and sprinkle with parsley.
Sounds good, right??? Here is my variation on this recipe.
I didn’t have parsnips, but I did get some beautiful rainbow carrots at the Farmer’s Market, so I used just those. I also can’t use chili flakes because the boy can’t manage anything that’s hot or spicy, so I used za’atar instead. If you’re not familiar, za’atar is a middle-eastern spice blend made with oregano, sesame, and sumac. It’s very warming. I also didn’t have feta (basically failing at this recipe), but I did have the super tasty aged goat cheese I’d gotten from Milner farms, so I shaved that over the top. Finally, I subbed out balsamic reduction for the pomegranate molasses. Oh! and I made a pesto from the carrot tops.
We had these as a side with some veggie burgers, and they were soooo good!
Get out and explore your backyard! You never know what tasty treasures you might discover.