One of my goals this year is to learn more about locally grown vegetables and fruits, and where to source them. The benefits of buying fresh, nutritious, delicious and locally grown foods as I’ve learned? Like me, you might get to try new fruits like gooseberries and rhubarb for example. You learn when freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak in flavour and nutrition.
When you buy local, you help support farmers and get to enjoy visits to farmers markets, strengthening your community. Learning to shop local is a healthy decision; it does feels good to discover and cook the foods available in my own back yard!
Foodland Ontario, a consumer promotion program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, was established in 1977 with a mission to spread the word about the great taste, nutrition and economic benefits of buying Ontario food to Ontarians. Grocery shoppers in particular. Foodland Ontario’s website has been a great resource to learn about locally grown foods and when they’re in season.
Foodland Ontario also works closely with producers and growers groups, to share information and encourage participation in relevant activities, and show them how to use the Foodland Ontario symbol to promote their food products.
As we head into June and warmer months in Ontario, locally grown fruits like cherries and strawberries will be in season and at their freshest. Asparagus, Beans, Bok Choy, Broccoli, field cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach and summer squash, to name a few, will be freshly picked and at their peak in flavour and nutrition.
To help decide on spring, summer grocery needs, and get inspiration for recipes, I put together a comprehensive list of some of the wonderful vegetables and fruits that will be in season April through to September. It’s not too late to make rhubarb pie!
See the list of foods in season in Ontario here: Fruits & Vegetables Now In Season, Spring Summer 2017
Grilling is the oldest cooking method, and one that retains its popularity especially as we head into summer months. Grilling (and broiling) are the only methods that use direct heat – nothing but a thin layer of air separates the heat source from the food. This guarantees a crisp crust quickly. Although grilling can be easy, it does not “add” flavour unless you use a wood fire or spice up your fire with wood chips. With grilling and barbecue season upon us, these mushroom patties will make for a super enjoyable meal for meat lovers and plant-based foodies alike.
Now, veggie burgers can be tricky. The ingredients in today’s recipe work as far as flavour and a reliable consistency. The mushrooms are a big part of what makes these patties taste so rich and satisfying as they replicate an authentic meaty flavour.
Take your time with making this recipe. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions. Also, do not over process the mushroom mixture. It should remain a bit chunky when removed from the food processor. Otherwise, enjoy these healthy, rich and satisfying grilled veggie patties for your burgers, made with local, in season ingredients.
Grilled Mushroom & Greens Veggie Patties
healthy, rich, satisfying, savoury, local!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 ½ cups onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, preferably freshly grated whole grain (plus more as needed)
- 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
- 4 – 6 burger buns, toasted, for serving
- Goat or feta cheese (optional for topping)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until browning slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and oregano. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, pulse the pecans until finely ground. Add the black beans and maple syrup. Pulse until combined. Add the mushroom mixture and continue to pulse until combined; leaving chunky. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and spinach and mix them in by hand. Season with salt and pepper, then taste to adjust seasoning as desired. Shape the mixture into 4 large patties, or 6 smaller ones.
Place the patties on a greased grill over medium heat. Grill, covered, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Serve hot with toppings of choice.
Alternatively, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the patties until crisp on both sides. If you’d like to bake the patties rather than fry them, preheat the oven to 350 F(175 C). Bake the patties on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 minutes longer until brown.
Top with fried, golden brown shallots. Peel and thinly slice 2 shallots. Dredge them in flour. Fry in heated olive oil until golden brown.
You can now print this recipe card. Just hit ‘Print’ on the above to keep it handy.
What locally grown foods are in season where you shop? Just hit the reply button.
See more: “Food You’ll Love Cooking!“