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Summer Bucket List

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10 Things to Try this Summer

This summer, challenge yourself to try the following ten activities, which are all about enjoying the best of the season. There’s nothing like a fantastic new food experience!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

1Make jam

Preserve the sweetness of Ontario summer fruit by whipping up a batch of your own jam. Jam is easy to make and the options are endless. Blueberry, cherry, and peach…you can even make jam from tomatoes! Jams made from a combination of several fruits are also delicious and you can have some fun thinking up your own custom blends.

For inspiration, start off with our deliciously sweet yet tart strawberry rhubarb jam.

2Grill lobster

April to June is lobster season in Canada, so why not combine our most beloved seafood with our beloved practice of grilling in the summer? Lobster on the barbecue is juicy and delicious. It’s also simple to make. The key is not to overcook it, as it can quickly become rubbery. Invite some friends over and wow them with your grilling prowess!

Asian flavours of ginger and garlic mix with soy and sake in our decadent Oriental Grilled Lobster. Give this a try and you’ll wonder why you didn’t barbecue lobster sooner.

Fiddlehead Salad

3Try a new fruit or vegetable every week

The Canada Food Guide says adults should try to eat 7 - 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. In trying to achieve those numbers, we often stick to the same old checklist of tried and true produce – but what about all of the items that we sometimes take a peek at at Metro but have never tried? This summer, make a pledge to try something new every week. Have you ever prepared kohlrabi? Gooseberries? How about okra? There is so much undiscovered goodness that awaits you.

For a brief window in the early summer, delicious fiddleheads are available in Ontario. If you’ve never tried these beautiful green vegetables, now is the time! This simple, elegant fiddlehead salad is sure to become something you’ll look forward to enjoying every summer.

Creamy Berry Ice Cream

4Make homemade ice cream

Everyone enjoys refreshing ice cream in the summer…but have you ever made your own? There is something immensely satisfying about churning cream and blending it with sweet summer fruit. An ice cream maker doesn’t really “make” ice cream – it churns and freezes it slowly. It’s a handy device you’ll be happy to own during hot weather.

This easy creamy berry ice cream is rich and delicious. Unlike a lot of ice cream recipes, this one doesn’t call for eggs…just cream, sugar, vanilla and luscious berries.

5Try more fish

Sultry summer days call for light eating. Fish fits the bill perfectly, as it’s satisfying, yet not overly heavy and it’s recommended that adults eat 2-3 servings per week. Salmon, tuna and halibut are all wonderful choices, but what about those other kinds of fish you’ve always wanted to try? Mahi Mahi, pickerel or white fish are just some of the many interesting and mouthwatering kinds you can choose from. Be adventurous!

Luscious, omega 3-filled Arctic Char is the fish showcased in our Arctic char, asparagus and Romaine teriyaki wraps. These wraps are perfect for lunch or a light weekday dinner on the patio.

6Experiment with greens

Using fresh greens raw in salads is a wonderful way to enjoy them. However, greens are also fantastic with a little bit of heat. Whether you grill them, sautée them or throw them into soups or pastas, greens are much more versatile than a lot of people think.

On a rainy summer day, invite a close friend over for dinner. Pour your guest a glass of wine and ask him or her to perch on a stool in the kitchen and keep you company as you whip up a delicious risotto. Peppery arugula, most often used in salads, gives punch to this gorgeous grilled chicken, sun-dried tomato and arugula pizza.

Deep Dish Plum Pie with Maple Crème Fraîche

7Bake a pie

Pies may seem a bit decadent, but there truly isn’t a more fabulous way to enjoy fresh summer fruit – other than to pick it off the tree and eat it raw, of course! If you don’t have time to make a crust, pick up ready-made pastry you can just unroll, or a pre-made shell. The taste of a summer pie is something that stays with us throughout the year.

Luscious Ontario plums are paired with maple syrup in this deep dish plum pie with maple crème fraîche. How Canadian!

Bubbly Sangria

8Make Sangria

Nothing is better for summer sipping than fruity sangria! All you need is a bottle of wine, fresh fruit, citrus, something sweet, and if you’d like, a bit of brandy. Traditional sangria calls for oranges, lemons and limes with red wine, but feel free to make sangria from white and rose wines and use the fruit of your choice!

This refreshing bubbly sangria is actually a non-alcoholic version. If you want to use alcohol, just substitute the bottle of grape beverage for a bottle of full-bodied red wine. Marinating the fruit in a bit of brandy prior to mixing it in adds great flavour.

9Make your own condiments

It’s the season for hot dogs and burgers, so condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, relish and mayonnaise are a priority. Instead of buying the premade versions, try making your own. Homemade ketchup and mayonnaise are revelations, and mustard is easier to make than you might think. And don’t forget about pesto! Making your own condiments allows you to limit salt, sugar and oil, and adjust flavours to your taste.

This homemade ketchup helps you celebrate sweet and juicy Ontario tomatoes!

Grilled Peach Melba

10Grill fruit

The natural sugars in fruit caramelize it when it’s cooked on the grill – it’s something you just have to try! Grilling also intensifies the sweetness and turns fruit to tender, melting magnificence. Barbecued fruit is great for dessert, but it can also be mixed into sweet and spicy sauces for grilled meats such as ribs or chicken breasts.

As the finale to your next barbecue, try this incredible grilled peach Melba, an updated version of a retro classic!

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