The Best Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip

An easy winter recipe for a vibrant beet and walnut dip. Swirled with sour cream and topped with dill, it’s a luxurious and festive appetizer.

All winter long I’m never without a sack of beets in my cold room. I roast them up in batches about once a week and stash them in the fridge, where they keep for about 4-5 days.

A surplus of cooked beets is necessary to have around in the Simple Bites kitchen. Recipes like the kid’s favourite Chocolate Beet Snack Cake and today’s beet and walnut dip are in regular rotation all season.

I’ve been meaning to share this quick, do-ahead appetizer that I make every year around the holidays. The vibrantly coloured dip, paired with crisp winter vegetables, is exactly what I want to eat to balance out all the cookies.

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Herbed Butter with Edible Flowers

You can’t go wrong with bread & butter to round out a summer meal, especially when the butter is dressed up like an abstract piece of art and the bread is crusty and warm.

This seems like a springtime recipe, but all of my edible flowers are blooming right now and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to showcase them in a simple way.

It’s also not a real recipe-recipe, but more of a festive way to serve butter that highlights the colours and flavours of summertime. It’s perfect for a pretty little picnic on the dock or intimate dinner party on a summer’s eve.

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Eat Seasonal: Zucchini Pizzette

Hello July!

After a scorching week, tomorrow promises to bring a break in our heat wave and I am finally thinking about baking again. The produce at the markets is so inspiring and each day I am coming home with something new to play with in the Simple Bites kitchen.

My own garden has surprised me this year, flourishing despite the lack of attention from me. The zucchini (or courgettes) are beautiful right now, with every plant producing 4-5 per week. I harvest them while they are small and add them to everything from Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti to my Harvest Tortilla Soup.

Since we’ve been rocking the summer of the spritz, I’ve also been incorporating my homegrown zucchini into little pre-dinner appetizers and they are too good not to share the recipe.

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Honey-Drizzled Strawberry Ricotta Crostini

Just down the road from where we live, a family-run farm offers wagon rides and u-pick berries all summer long.

Last Saturday, Clara and I slipped away early, before the sun was too high over the strawberry fields, and picked ourselves two big baskets of the sweetest June fruits. The intense heat of this month to date has turned local berries a deep red all the way through and they are as sweet as sweet can be. Just how we like them.

Since I’ve declared this the summer of the spritz, I’ve developed this recipe to spotlight strawberries on the snack table. It’s partly savoury – toast and ricotta – and part sweet – berries and honey – and it’s a tantalizing bite you’ll want to whip up soon and serve at your next aperitivo.

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Hazelnut-Apple Power Bars

For months now we’ve been talking about making the trip to Ottawa to skate the length of the Rideau Canal.

It’s the world’s largest rink, if you didn’t know, with views of our parliament in the distance, and hot chocolate stations scattered along the winding canal. One can skate for hours without stopping, although you may be tempted to slow down for a poutine or beavertail break. It’s a Canadian thing.

Back in early January we settled on a weekend to go, booking accommodations with family and clearing our schedules. As a family, we tend to cultivate contentment in the little things, giving ourselves over to an occasion be it a mere afternoon skate or sled, so there was much anticipation around the event. [Read more…]