The GOODS from Granville Island
Vancouver, BC | The days are getting shorter. Scarves are coming out of storage. Can you feel it? This is the time of year that we intuitively retreat in to the warmth of home cooking. It’s tempting to dive into a six month hole of escapism padded with macaroni, grilled cheese sandwiches and shepherd’s pie, but the reality is that the traditional comfort food rotation can get tired quick. Besides, we’re not looking to ‘escape’ the shift in seasons. Rather, we want to dig into what Autumn is all about, and to really embrace the change it’s always a good move to check in with the people who know food best, like the vendors and producers themselves, right? A revisit to Granville Island’s Foodeo channel is good place to be inspired by this season’s best offerings before hitting up the market for groceries. The website has just added new videos loaded with ideas to help us cook and enjoy food with friends and family.
The latest Foodeo series includes traditional holiday favourites and hearty meals – all things to take comfort in – reinvented to feature local vendors and unique ingredients available from the Granville Island Public Market. Dishes like the Easy Market Jambalaya are designed to fill up bellies and bring warmth and heat – both in temperature and spice – to the table. Even better, the otherwise intimidating and unfamiliar dish has been simplified in typical Foodeo fashion. You won’t need to waste invaluable energy hunting down elusive ingredients or hopping around Vancouver for fresh fish and poultry. You can find it all on the Island, as precisely noted in the recipe. Pretty handy, right?
Seasonal toppings like bright butternut squash, kale and chives, along with fresh scallops from Seafood City and Oyama Sausage Co.’s double smoked bacon make the Fall Harvest Pizza a brilliant centrepiece for the dinner table as well as a memorable twist on an always people-pleasing food (we love the idea of switching out tomato sauce for this creamy squash alternative). And since wine is a key facet to the entertaining and the cooking processes (both for using and sipping) you’ll also want to incorporate a splash of white wine from Liberty Wine Merchants when preparing your squash puree, as suggested.
Another recipe to get excited about is for Bruschetta Stuffed Portobellos. This Italian antipasto alternative may be without bread, but it definitely delivers big in taste and presentation. Mushrooms are hands-down a super satisfying vegetarian option and the caps were virtually designed for this appetizer. An added bonus: the pecorino cheese and Lemon Tarragon Cashew garnishes bring dimension and interest to the stuffing…and provide delicious snacking opportunities while preparing the final result in the kitchen. Bonus: with the omission of pecorino this recipe would be super easy to alter in to a tasty vegan situation
One great example of a recipe that will undoubtedly sate those cravings for seasonal flavours and nostalgia is the Market’s rendition of the decidedly divisive but essential holiday side dish, cranberry sauce. Their recipe for Cranberry and Pecan Relish veers away from being sauce-y, gelatine or one-note in flavour – whew! Instead, the inclusion of Maple Sriracha Pecans from The Nut Merchant, dried currants from the Grainry and birds eye chili from South China Seas inject original textures and exotic international spices to an ages old Turkey dinner staple. We won’t be waiting until Christmas to try this delicious-sounding accompaniment!
Continuing on the theme of using unexpected and adventurous ingredients to impress guests this season, the latest videos in the “Unique Products” category crack the mystery contained within two unusual containers, both available from South China Seas. Featured vendor, Joyce, suggests Tonka beans and black garlic as two sweet and savoury alternatives when dressing up familiar dishes. While Tonka apparently single-handedly imparts the festive flavour profile that we all associate with the fall season (caramel, vanilla, clove, anise) onto desserts, black garlic – although less aromatic than regular, unfermented garlic – is more impactful visually as an addition to a charcuterie plate, spread on crostini appetizers.
Of course, regardless of the time of year or the lure of the kitchen, time-saving cooking tips are always appreciated – especially given the stress that always seems to tack onto the holiday preparations and celebrations. Hence why a visit to the “Expert Tips” section of Foodeo always pays off. This time around, Andrew from Benton Brothers Fine Cheeses has divulged his quirky hack for divvying up hors d’oeuvres and desserts using something that we all have (but don’t necessarily use as intended). Hint: don’t toss your floss!
Long nights demand delicious night caps, right? Sipping on a warm, whisky-based (from The Liberty Distillery) Blushing Toddy sounds like just the thing to cozy up or cheers with after an ample meal. Granville Island Tea Company Ltd’s cranberry apple tea, dark honey from Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey Ltd, plus lemon and ginger round out this cocktail with a healthy dose of zing and comfort. We’re sure that we’ll be imbibing in more than a few of these tummy – and spirit-warmers over the next several months!