In case you missed it...

Saturday's Cultivating Community event at the Hamilton Mountain Farmers' Market was a great success! The highlight of the day was the series of cooking demonstrations by private chef Wayne Baker. Using ingredients that could be found at the Mountain Market (with a few minor exceptions), he prepared three delicious dishes. The appetizer was a light and tasty Insalata Caprese. For the main course, Wayne prepared the vegetarian form of a Nova Scotia classic, Hodgepodge. Dessert was Fruit Foster - a warm fruit sauce spooned over ice cream.

Here are the recipes Wayne handed out:


Insalata Caprese

2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 sprigs fresh basil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. salted capers (optional)
¼ lb. pitted black olives (optional)
1 container brocconcini or a round mozzarella, about ½ kg (1 lb.), sliced

Slice the tomatoes into rounds about 1.25 cm. (½“) and put them on a platter/plate. The tomato slices can be as thick or as thin as desired. Wash and remove the leaves from the basil stems and place whole over the tomato slices (if necessary more than one leaf can be placed on the tomato slice to cover the slice). Slice the brocconcini/mozzarella into rounds about the same thickness as the tomato slices and lay them over the basil leaves (the cheese should also be about the same size as the tomato slice, so piece together, if necessary). If using the capers and/or the sliced olives, sprinkle over the top. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top. Serve at room temperature. Can be made ahead of time and put covered into the refrigerator and removed about 15 minutes before serving to get to room temperature. This is the appetizer recipe, but if you wanted to serve this as a side salad it could be layered with the largest slices on the bottom and each layer a little smaller (3 layers would be fine) or 3 slices on a plate in a triangle formation per serving.
Serves 6.



1 cup each (choose all or selected vegetables) fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped; fresh yellow beans, trimmed and snapped; baby carrots or sliced larger carrots; diced turnip; broccoli spears; cauliflower florets; baby onions or cutup regular sized onions; brussel sprouts; baby corn cobs. Should end up with about 8 cups of vegetables, increase selected vegetables to 1½ cups to equal at least 8 cups over all.
2 cups baby new potatoes or cut-up larger potatoes
1 – 2 cups water
6 tbsp. butter/margarine
½ cup half & half
salt and pepper, to taste

All the vegetables should be roughly the same size, cut to size if necessary. Place the selected vegetables in a large pot with enough water to have about 2.5 cm. (1”) deep. If regular carrots and turnip are used they should be cooked 10 minutes before the rest of the vegetables are added. Lightly salt the water, bring to a boil and cook covered over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Add the potatoes, return to a boil and cook covered for about another 20-30 minutes depending on the desired firmness of the vegetables. A little more water may be required. Stir in butter/margarine and half & half (regular, 1% or 2% milk can be used, if desired). Cook for a few more minutes for the vegetables to absorb some of the butter/margarine and half & half. Remove from heat and serve hot. Serves 6-8


Fruit Foster

¼ cup (1/8 lb.) butter
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. orange juice concentrate
4 cups ripe fresh fruit (choose any combination of sliced peaches; sliced pears; sliced apples, plums halved or quartered; strawberries, halved or quartered; whole raspberries; whole blueberries; whole blackberries,
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla flavouring
About 2 tbsp. dark rum or brandy, optional (rum flavouring can be used instead)

In a 10” to 12” frying pan over high heat, stir butter and brown sugar until bubbling vigorously. Add cinnamon, orange juice concentrate and fruit; turn fruit often with a spatula until sauce is boiling again and fruit is hot, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and just before serving add the vanilla and rum flavouring stirring well. Scoop ice cream equally into four bowls. ** Optional** - just before serving add the rum or brandy and light and shake pan until flame dies. If not choosing the flambéé option, add the rum or brandy just before serving, mixing well. Spoon fruit and sauce over ice cream.

The Mountain Market, located just off Concession St at 19 Viewpoint Ave, will be open every Saturday from 7am to 1:30pm until early November. Be sure to stop by to pick up your ingredients and to re-stock on fresh, local produce, as well as other delicious and healthy items.

For more information on Wayne and his cooking services, check out his Cooking Is Fun and Easy website at

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