Beautiful Broccoli

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph behind the scenes of a restaurant with a beautifully run kitchen and with food just as amazing! That night, they were serving up an elegant Italian feast.  The chef is a big fan and supporter of local foods so of course that was included in the meal I was photographing.

 © 2015 Shawna Eberle

This was my introduction to Romanesco broccoli and maybe it was the way they cooked it - most likely - but... wow! delicious!  And it looks great! So Romanesco broccoli is a kind of broccoli/cauliflower relative originally from Italy.  These days it is also grown in Canada and the United States.

Here are a few resources of information about this vegetable in case it's new to you too!

Gardening info - For the do it yourself types! How to garden at "gardenknowhow" and shopping for seeds at Burpee and at Richter's Herbs

Where to buy info - Locally in my area, the website for OntarioFresh has great references to farms that sell this vegetable - little hint... search under Romanesco Cauliflower!

© 2015 Shawna Eberle


The Elusive Makrut Lime

In my search for ingredients to do a proper Thai curry paste, I discovered new information (well, new to me...) about the lime that I needed to track down.

Every Thai curry paste recipe - yellow, green or red - calls for the Makrut (Kaffir) lime zest.  And it's been made clear - the ZEST, not the leaf.  Okay, no problem... off to Chinatown where you can buy anything, right?  Nope.

But first things first; what I learned immediately was some good information about the word itself.  Through a long list of articles and definition sources, the bottom line is that the word kaffir is a racial slur in South Africa - so... I'm going to refer to it as the Makrut lime and call it day!

© bignai -

Now, after extensive hunting in Canada's most multicultural city, tons of online searching AND a call to a restaurant friend 'in the know' who called a colleague even more 'in the know', I have yet to track this lime down.  Seriously, this is one elusive citrus! least in Canada! The leaves, on the other hand, are surprisingly easy to track down. (The photo above is from a stock agency until I find one for myself!)

So, sadly, no curry paste apron for us until we can find this - but I have plans - and I'm keeping my eye on the local nurseries to see when they might carry the tree!  I'm working on it... so to be continued!