Iceplant and Salicornia, two market finds

This week-end we went to the Laurier Farmers’ Market, as usual. We found some pretty unusual greens: iceplant and salicornia!

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Both were really fresh and super tasty. Salicornia is an old favourite. It grows along the shore of the ocean or rivers so it takes on a really salty taste. It is super crunchy, and frankly it eats itself up in a flash! I love munching on salicornia on it’s own: it’s so fresh and marine. It makes me feel like I’m on the seaside, which is great!

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If you are interested in looking at more wild plants, I really suggest checking out Forêts et Papilles. They prepare amazing teas, seasonings and sugars with wild plants. They also have amazing fresh produce every week at the market. Worth checking them out!

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The second find is something completely new and unknown to me, grown by the Jardins d’Ambroisie: iceplant. Apparently, this plant has been traditionally used in the southern part of France, but it was rediscovered by famous chefs in recent year. Well, I can see why! The main thing about this plant is its crazy texture: as it is a succulent the leaves are quite thick and chunky. The fun thing is that they are covered in little bubbles filled with a salty and sour liquid. Sounds alien, right? Well it’s wonderful!

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This plant has a a rich salty and sour taste that is so refreshing. I love how the little bubbles just explode with every bite. It’s truly something to try out!

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If you don’t feel like munching on these just like this, you can chop them up and add them to any salad. They can easily replace salt and vinegar in any dressing. It’s amazing! If you have a chance you should really give them a try! Let me know if you have any market finds I should be on the lookout for!

 

Floramama and beautiful organic flowers

In my ideal world, my house would be filled with flowers all year long, in every room, multiple bouquets per room, in all colors, all the time and for no particular reason but to enjoy them. Flowers are so wonderful in their variety and simple elegance. I feel that adding flowers to any room suddenly makes everything more fun and lively. However, even if all flowers are beautiful, they are not equal when it comes to their environmental footprint. Think of it a minute. Flowers are plants, cultivated in fields and are therefore treated in ways similar to ‘regular’ agriculture and all that implies. That’s why I try to buy local and organic flowers when I can. And, luckily enough Floramama is here to save the day!

Floramama is a flower farm in the Eastern Townships that has been created a few years ago by Chloé, a passionate young farmer. Since then, she has put a lot of time and energy into producing exceptional fresh flowers. I have a particular soft spot for her ranunculus and anemones.

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She too brings her flowers to the Laurier Farmers Market every week. Check out her facebook page to see when she’s coming and also have an idea of the flowers that will be ready for the market. I love her flowers because they have a simple charm to them: I don’t know if it’s because they are not your typical flowers or if it’s because they are so fresh, but they make me feel shabby chic just looking at them. They also keep a lot longer than most flowers you can find at your florist.

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If you fall in love with these beauties, Chloé offers a ‘basket’ option where you get to support her farm through a CSA kind off system: you can subscribe to receive bouquets every week or every two weeks. I did this last summer and loved it: fresh, beautifully composed flowers every week! What a dream!

I really suggest checking her out if you are in the Montreal region, or if you love flowers! Even if it’s just to take a look at her wonderfully colourful market stand, you won’t be disappointed. And, as you will probably succumb to the temptation and buy a few flowers, take a minute to thank Chloe for her amazing work. It’s so inspiring!

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