17 best recipes to close out summer

It’s my favourite time of year to shop at the local markets.

The aisles are lined with baskets piled high with two-inch cucumbers and plump Roma tomatoes, inspiring me to add pickles and salsa to my canning list for the weekend.

Clara picks out a pint of deep red raspberries and I reach for a hefty cantaloupe. We can both get our favourites, for a few more weeks, anyway.

I try to resist the beautiful winter squash, piled six high in wooden crates, and pass by the emerald Brussels sprouts. I know they will be around for a while. Instead I turn my attention to sweet corn, small radishes and blueberries, which will be finishing soon.

[Read more…]

Fresh tomato + peach Caprese salad with wild blueberries & thyme

I‘ve been enjoying a tomato salad nearly every day this month; it’s effortless eating when the tomatoes are ripening on the vine in my backyard and the kitchen garden is packed with herbs two feet tall.

Often the tomatoes are paired with briny olives and salty feta in an easy Greek salad and other times I dice them up for a Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes. Another favourite – and real crowd pleaser – is my Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad, which combines tomatoes, celery and shrimp into a tangy dish perfect for quick Sunday lunch.

A recent creation that proved to be most delicious was the addition of sliced, fresh Niagara peaches to a Caprese salad. I served this riff on a classic at the start of the harvest dinner we hosted on the homestead a few weekends ago, and promised you the recipe. It’s a salad I serve at every harvest dinner, mostly because it is so delicious when prepared in season, but also because it is very easy.

[Read more…]

5-Ingredient Baked Eggs in Tomatoes on Roasted Corn and Lentils

We’ve been brunching more than usual this summer, taking advantage of our own farm fresh eggs, garden herbs and produce.

I prefer more of a savoury start to the day and find that a breakfast featuring vegetables and eggs – with coffee of course – takes me a lot further in the morning than a sweet carb-y meal.

This extra fuel is essential for keeping up with three kids all summer long; kids who don’t believe in sleeping in and are functioning at one hundred percent by seven-thirty in the morning. Oh, big breakfasts are entirely necessary.

[Read more…]

Quick Homemade Harissa from ‘Whole Bowls’

Step into any book shop these days and you will be greeted by a fresh array of new spring cookbooks. It’s hard to know which ones are keepers amid the wide selection.

A large percentage of these books come across my desk, and I spend many evenings reading them cover to cover. In spring and in fall, the busiest times for publication, cookbooks are my novels. I binge on them like a cult Nexflix show. A few make it to my kitchen, a handful more remain on my shelf, and the rest go on a pile to give away.

Fellow Canadian food blogger Allison Day has a new cookbook, Whole Bowls, and it landed in my hands a few short days before my Noah was diagnosed with pneumonia. This was a few weeks ago, when I was sufficiently ‘done’ with winter produce, yet I became excited to cook while reading Whole Bowls – the first sign of a great cookbook.

[Read more…]

Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti

I want to talk about tomatoes and corn, eggplant and zucchini, and all the other beautiful produce that is so abundant right now, but first, I must say thank you all for your kind responses to my last post.

You commented, emailed and left messages on social media; I read every one and was much encouraged. It really helped to hear from so many people that the emotional toll of a car accident is just as severe as the physical one. As it turned out, after a week of exhaustion, sensitivity to noise, and bad headaches, the conclusion is that I did suffer a mild concussion. Rest is needed, as is time away from screens, so this post will be short.

Fortunately I developed and photographed this simple summer pasta the day before the accident, and I’m so excited to share it. If your kitchen is anything like mine, there’s a pile of vegetables begging to be roasted and tossed with pasta, herbs and olive oil tonight[Read more…]