Summer is almost half over, but there’s still plenty of time for fun with family and friends. Check out this week’s recipes, which focus on summer, seasonal entertaining!
For Veggie and Artisan Boxes, here’s a list of some delicious veggies you may receive. Expect to get 7 or 8 of these yummy items!!
- Pepper Squash
- Eggplant–check out eggplant recipes here, plus more below
- Watermelon – please note you may find your watermelons are split. This is not because they are bad or mishandled, rather because they are so juicy and sweet that they are like big water balloons! One little bump and they burst. But cut them up and savour them anyway as the taste won’t disappoint. Enjoy.
- Galia melon
Artisan Box Members–You’ll also be getting these items:
- Shiro Plums
- Peaches–yum! First ones of the season!!
- Collard Greens
Cream Cheese style cheese, from Primeridge Dairy. Smooth and delicious! Read all about it on their website here. Cream cheese can be used instead of goat cheese in the crostini recipes below!
Muffin Mix from Grainstorm. I love Grainstorm’s tag line: “Bake like it’s 1896.” Grainstorm produces amazing mixes that are made with whole grains that are freshly milled in Ontario. Check out their website here.
July has somehow flown by, but we still have all of August to enjoy with friends and family–and I’m sure you haven’t forgotten–two long weekends as well!
Summer is a time for relaxing, not stressing out! So here are some tips and recipes you may enjoy, using seasonal Ontario ingredients, of course!
- It’s hot enough outside, so don’t worry about serving a hot meal. Salads, cheese and charcuterie platters can be hearty and filling. You can also serve grilled salads, meats and kebobs at room temperature, so no need to cook last minute, if you don’t feel like it.
- Bring out the platters! Admit it, people are lazy, and love having finger foods available for the taking. “Build your own” often ends up with bowls of “unconstructed” ingredients. So prepare platters of a few kinds of crostini, or open-faced sandwiches, or individual bites, for people to easily grab and enjoy. Normally, you can prepare the toppings well in advance. Kids, especially older ones, can help putting them together too.
- Keep it cool. Set up food tables in the shade, when possible. Place bowls of dips inside larger bowls filled with ice. You can never have too much ice and coolers around too, for drinks and keeping foods cold.
- Make the theme Ontario! What better way to spread the word about eating local, than by making your party theme Ontario? If you’re having a potluck, just ask that guests bring something that was grown or raised in Ontario. For some, this sounds fun and challenging! Butt his request may stress some people out, so you may want to be more specific, like asking someone to bring Ontario-grown Tomato Bruschetta, or Ontario-grown melon fruit salad. You don’t have to make everyone be a purist too! Ease people’s fears and let them know that some secondary ingredients not available here (like lemon) can still be used in the recipe–just make the Ontario item(s) the hero of the dish!
Apps–Crostini & Small Bites
Goat Cheese Crostini with Pickled Peppers
White Bean Crostini with Spicy Cucumber
The beans and the cucumbers can be made the day before. You could also use canned beans.
This flavourful recipe uses eggplant and other veggies.
Fire Charred Green Beans with Cajun Dipping Sauce
Green beans are the ultimate finger food!!
Broccoli and Red Onion Quesadillas
Quesadillas are easy to make on the bbq, and can be kept warm in a 250 degree oven.
Here’s one recipe, but as you know, you can be creative when mixing and matching the cheese and veggies.
Soup as a finger food? Small cups (espresso cups or shot glasses will do) filled with refreshingly cold soup always go fast!
Melon and Peach salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella
This salad would look gorgeous on a large platter. Make sure to stop by Culinarium to pick up some Ontario prosciutto for this salad!
Cucumber Salads…here are four cucumber recipes, and one for cold soup too…
Panzanella…Bread and Tomato Salad
Hot, humid weather means bread get stale fast! Here’s a great way to pair ripe tomatoes with stale bread!
Buckwheat Noodle Salad
Pasta salad doesn’t have to be traditional!
Summer parties are not a time to be mixing individual drinks for people. Have some beer, wine and soda on hand, and make up some of these Big Batch Summer Cocktails, which feature seasonal fruits like rhubarb, plums, watermelon, peaches and more! Check out these 29 recipes!!!
Need some speed? Here’s a video for how to Pit a Plum in under 10 Seconds
And how to enjoy corn on the cob at work: