by Solara Goldwynn, Hatchet & Seed –
The month of December is a time of amazing food-filled events. It’s the time of holiday celebrations, friend and family gatherings, and maybe a little overindulging! Eating local during this winter month can be a little more challenging, as most farmer’s markets have shut down and our gardens don’t have the same kind of abundance as in the summer and fall. However, there are still plenty of local food options available if you look for them.
This month’s recipe is a perfect dish to serve at a holiday dinner; you will surprise your guests with this flavourful local meal.
The main ingredient is sweet potato, and although you may think I’m crazy, we can grow sweet potatoes here on the Island. They need a hot location and grow best with some protection (such as a cloche or in a greenhouse), but sweet potatoes are becoming a popular crop to grow with local farmers. A good source for local sweet potatoes is Dan’s Farm in Central Saanich, and the Root Cellar in Saanich. I used delicata squash from Bullock Lake Farm on Salt Spring Island. Their beautiful farm sells at the Saturday market and they have CSA (community supported agriculture) box programs throughout the year. Delicata keeps into the winter and is a delicious, abundant squash to grow in the garden, and local squash is easy to find at various markets around the Peninsula this time of year. This savoury pie is topped with cranberry sauce that I made from scratch from local cranberries (Yellow Point Farm just outside of Ladysmith).
Please enjoy this delicious dish with friends and family and have a wonderful holiday season!
1 cup unbleached white flour (I use Anita’s Organic)
½ tsp sea salt
6 tbsp butter
4 tbsp cold water
Mix first three ingredients in a food processor and slowly add in the cold water until it forms into a ball. Roll out and put into a pie pan.
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and
roasted in oven until tender
1 delicata squash cut, de-seeded and roasted in oven until tender
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp chopped chives
Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth, spoon into a piecrust and bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
1 cup cranberries
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp nutmeg
crumbled sheep’s feta
Spoon the cranberry sauce onto the cooled pie, and add the toppings. This lends a festive look to the pie, and also brings interesting texture and flavour to the whole experience.