Saturday, August 1, 2015

Food Day Canada 2015

Happy Food Day Canada!

Today marks the 12th anniversary of Food Day Canada, a celebration of Canadian produce and products, their producers, and the country's cuisine. Originally called "The World's Longest Barbeque", founded by Anita Stewart in response to the crisis faced by the Canadian beef industry in 2003, its goal now is to build a "strong culinary nation". 

Part of my haul from Sherway Farmers' Market
I decided to participate by putting together a family meal focusing on the locally grown and raised products picked up during my most recent trip to a farmers' market. Most came from farms just outside the city, the peaches, a little farther afield, from the Niagara region. 

My family feast
For recipe inspiration, I turned to some of my cookbooks authored by Canadian food writers, cooks, and chefs. 

What better way to start than with Chilled Fresh Tomato Soup from Anita Stewart's Canada. This twist on classic gazpacho, made with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, green onions, and cider vinegar was vibrant and very refreshing in the steamy weather we've been having.

I was looking for mostly make ahead dishes so I wouldn't be standing over a hot stove for long (for the reason mentioned above). Grilled Corn Salad from More Heartsmart Cooking with Bonnie Stern was a great choice and really showcased the super sweet peaches 'n' cream corn. I chopped most of the ingredients and mixed the dressing beforehand, then grilled the corn and tossed everything together at the last minute. The salad had wonderful texture and balanced flavour. I particularly enjoyed the smokiness and heat from the chipotle peppers (I doubled those!).

Warm Potato and Arugula Salad from Rose Murray's A Taste of Canada: A Culinary Journey was slightly heartier fare but just as easy to put together. Pre-cooked new potatoes browned until crisp in rendered bacon fat, and dressed with garlicky white wine vinaigrette were tossed with arugula and spinach and topped with crunchy bacon bits. Delicious! I could eat a plate of this on its own.

My pork loin roast was transformed into Brined, Grilled Pork Chops from Rob Feenie's Casual Classics.  Soaked overnight in a solution of water, salt, sugar, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns, the chops were incredibly moist and flavourful and didn't require any other seasoning. It's one of the new family favourites.

Then there was dessert, a Free-Form Fruit Galette made with peaches from Home Baking: The Artful mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford using their recipe for Quick Pastry (I love that trick of grating frozen butter).

Frankly, the peaches were so luscious, I was loathe to donate any to a cooked dessert, but this simple, rustic ("rustic" being the new "ugly") tart with its tender, crumbly pastry allowed the fruit to shine, and it used only 4 peaches so the rest could be enjoyed as is!

I hope everyone had a wonderfully delicious day. I know I enjoyed planning, preparing and sharing this meal. My goal now is to make more days "Food Day Canada"-type days.

I'm linking this post to cook-your-books hosted by Joyce at Kitchen Flavours.


  1. Hi Zosia,
    Wow! You have made such a delicious feast! Everything looks delicious! Such beautiful fresh veggies from the farmers' market and I am so jealous of the fresh peaches! I can see how luscious they are from your photo! Thank you for sharing with CYB!

    1. Thank you, Joyce. The peaches are particularly good this year. We can't seem to get enough of them!


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