CHC CANADA 150 FOOD BLOG CHALLENGE SERIES
I am a proud Canadian. When the Culinary Historians of Canada invited food bloggers to participate in the “CHC Canada 150 Food Blog Challenge”, I knew that I wanted in! What a great way to celebrate and honour Canada’s 150th birthday by featuring a different Canadian dish or discussing a topic which reflects on what it means to be Canadian. For the month of June, CHC invited food bloggers to share stories and recipes that relate to farmers’ markets, farm-gate stands, dockside fish purchases and other examples of purchasing food directly from the source. Vegetable Tian is my Farmer’s Market inspiration.
Some of my best food memories from my childhood were close to home in our market size vegetable garden. Every day, we would grab our shallow oblong basket called a trug and carry it to the backyard to pick fresh carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuces or whatever was ripe at the time. Eating fresh-picked produce is a true pleasure to your taste buds.
I live in a produce paradise called the Okanagan Valley where Farmer’s Markets and wineries abound. For example, when I go to the farmer’s market or the roadside stands, the Sweet Strawberry Tomatoes, or the Savoy Cabbage is always irresistible. The vibrant colours and a wide variety of seasonal vegetables can represent that day’s inspiration. I enjoy making a Vegetable Tian with fresh young zucchini, tomato and eggplant. A tian (le tian) is a type of gratin dish. It is made by thinly slicing vegetables and layering them in a shallow earthenware dish and slow-baked until the vegetables are tender and flavourful. The hidden bottom layer of the tian is caramelized onion, which not only provides amazing flavour to the dish but also a stable foundation on which to lay and shingle the sliced vegetables.