Sunday, May 26, 2013

FARM-MARKET-TABLE: fiddlehead + bacon pizza

With but two hours to the deadline, here I am finally finishing my submission to the Halifax Food Bloggers' FARM-MARKET-TABLE recipe contest, in which all ingredients must be sourced from the Halifax Seaport Market. Life's been busy and, believe me when I say, it was an even busier weekend. Like birthday party, chili judging, baby shower, anniversary dinner kind of weekend. I even met up with Christine, a Montreal food blogger, who accompanied me on my shopping trip to the market. I felt so proud showing her our incredible love of local here in the city.

Speaking of anniversary, this past Friday marked eight years since Brent and I started dating. Eight long years ago, he got off that 2 am train in Hornepayne, ON, thinking he was in for a summer of treeplanting adventure with his best friend. Little did he know that mere days later he would embark on what would become the summer of love. You see, relationships in the planting world, where your home is a tent and your community is but 80 strong, become accelerated. What would normally be a month long courtship is accomplished in days. Needless to say, we left that season madly in love and haven't looked back.

There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful for everything he does for me, for everything he is. So, when deciding what to make for this challenge my mind wasn't concerned with what market products to use. That would be the easy part. Instead, I wanted to make something special, something for us.

Every couple or family has their go to meal whether it's that spaghetti recipe handed down from your pops or a quick casserole. For us, that go to has always been pizza. Brent throws together the dough while I prep the toppings. It may not sound fast, but after eight years of practice, we can be eating scratch pizza sometimes within half an hour.  Because, honestly, anything can go on pizza when you open your mind. The trick though is finding that one quick and easy dough recipe. We found ours and I ain't sharing. (Also, the flour, salt, olive oil and yeast that went into the dough were not purchased at the market though they were exceptions. The oil, however, was purchased from Liquid Gold, a local oil and vinegar tasting bar.)

A quick visit to some of my market favourites and I had what I needed. Cheese, bacon, garlic, check.  But with fiddlehead season in full effect here in NS, I knew they'd make their way into my recipe somehow. And fiddleheads on pizza? Why not. Lucky for me, the fiddlehead man himself, Jason Pelley, was at the market. Score.

fiddlehead + bacon pizza

1 large pizza crust
olive oil | Liquid Gold
2 cups fiddleheads | Fiddle Hop Farm
1 cup chopped belly bacon ends | Getaway Meat Mongers
3 cloves garlic | Noggins Corner Farm
100 g quark | Fox Hill Cheesehouse
shaved Old Growler | That Dutchman's Farm

Preheat oven to 425.

In a frying pan, start cooking that bacon. Cook about 5 min then add the fiddleheads. Sauté until tender, about 10 min, adding the garlic in the last few minutes.  One word about that belly bacon from Meat Mongers. The ends are thick cut slabs of smokey goodness perfect for chopping into just about anything. Plus, it's half the price of belly bacon. Yup, half. There's a reason Ben and the boys at Meat Mongers were voted best market stall in this year's Best of Food. I can't help but visit them weekly.

Spread the dough with olive oil. Cover with the fiddleheads, bacon & garlic. Drop teaspoons of quark over the pizza. 

Bake until dough is cooked through and browned, depending of course on your dough. Finish with shaved Old Growler and fresh cracked black pepper.  

That is some straight up farm to market to table.  And I can't think of a better way to express my love than by letting local do the talking.

Happy Anniversary baby.