Spiced up Ontario greenhouse vegetable pastaby The Ontario Produce Marketing Association | 2 years ago | 808 page views
Channels: The Ontario Produce Marketing Association, Dinner Is Served
In Canada, greenhouse vegetables are available from February until December each year. In Ontario, the crop includes tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and mini cucumbers, to name just a few.
According to Paul Mastronardi from Mastronardi Produce, the main difference between greenhouse vegetables and field vegetables is that “being enclosed allows us to eliminate most pesticides and produce more kilos per square meter.” In fact, greenhouse vegetables produce 10 times more per square meter than field crops and require 80 per cent less water and fertilizers.
A lot of varieties of greenhouse vegetables are available for various cooking purposes – from micro cherry tomatoes for salads to large beefsteak tomatoes perfect for stuffing.
Greenhouses exist all across Canada, allowing us to reduce mileage in the winter instead of importing produce from Mexico as is usually the case during the colder months.
“I think it’s very important to eat local,” says Mastronardi. “It’s good for the environment and it’s also great for the local economy.”
This recipe for Spiced Up Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Pasta is an easy, healthy meal that incorporates the best that Ontario has to offer.
Spiced Up Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Pasta
¼ cup Ontario greenhouse yellow, orange or red bell peppers, finely chopped
¼ cup Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
¼ cup eggplant, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup shallots, peeled and diced
1 lb dry spaghetti noodles
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, picked and diced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, picked and diced
7 basil leaves, sliced
1 tbsp chili flakes
1. Boil spaghetti noodles in a large pot of salted water. Cook al dente for 10 minutes.
2. Sauté shallots in a large skillet, then add bell peppers and eggplant. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine, add the garlic and reduce. Drain the pot of water and add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the skillet.
3. Sauté spaghetti noodles, then add chopped fresh herbs, tomatoes and chili flakes. Divide evenly into six bowls and serve immediately.
*NOTE: for a really artistic finish, make basil crisps with vegetable oil heated to 300°F. Using a slotted spoon, flip the basil leaves over to complete frying. Scoop out and drain excess oil on a plate lined with paper towels.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional facts per serving (223 g): calories 310, fat 2 g (3%), saturated fat 0.4 g + trans fat 0 g (2%), cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 5 mg (1%), carbohydrates 60 g (20%), fiber 4 g (16%), sugars 2 g, protein 11 g, vitamin A (6%), vitamin C (15%), calcium (2%), iron (20%).
% = % Daily value
To learn more about the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, visit the Ontario Produce Marketing Association website at www.opma-assn.com.