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Local products - 3 Overlooked Locally Grown Foods

overlooked locally growned foods

It’s harvest time! Take advantage of this bountiful time to enjoy variety and try lesser-known foods produced locally. Chard, broad beans and radicchio. Here are some ways to make the most of their flavours!


Chard

1Chard

Cultivated in Quebec:

From mid-June to mid-October.

From the same family as kale, spinach, beets and carrots, chard consists of a large green leaf grown on a red, white or yellow stem. All the parts of this plant are edible.

Flavour:

A cousin in taste to spinach, chard is deliciously aromatic, slightly bitter and savoury.

Texture:

Its stems are crunchy like celery, while its leaves are tender and delicate like spinach.

EXPERT Tip

Always blanch chard before cooking it as this ensures it loses most of its bitterness. However, don’t use an aluminum pot. Chard is rich in oxalate, a compound found naturally in many foods, and can blacken the pot.


 

Broad beans

2Broad beans

Cultivated in Quebec:

From the end of July to mid-September.

Rich in protein, broad beans belong to the legume family. They’re distinguished by their long inedible husk that covers and gives them their flat shape. The latter are covered in a thin film to be removed before eating. For optimal flavour, choose green pods that are firm and unblemished.

Flavour:

Very sweet, broad beans also feature the subtle flavour notes of fresh herbs.

Texture:

Depending on their level of freshness, their texture varies from very starchy (like a cooked potato) to creamy.

EXPERT Tip

Once shelled, the beans must be lightly peeled. Lightly immerse them in a saucepan filled with salted boiling water, and blanch them for about two minutes. Finally, leave the beans in cold water. The skin should peel off easily.


radicchio

3Radicchio

Cultivated in Quebec:

From July to mid-October.

This red-leaved chicory comes in two varieties: radicchio di Verona, which is round like iceberg lettuce, and radicchio di Treviso, which is shaped more like the elongated endive.

Flavour:

Eaten raw, radicchio is bitter and slightly spicy. Once cooked, it becomes a little softer for more sensitive palates.

Texture:

Its leaves stay deliciously crunchy even when cooked.

EXPERT Tip

It’s rare to grill leafy greens, but since radicchio is resistant to cooking, just brush it with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice and put it right on the BBQ. Garnish with a bit of goat cheese, some roasted walnuts, and you’ll impress guests out on the deck with this surprising summer dish!


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