Beaches|Life
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Fresh and Simple Summer Entertaining!

The months of June and July offer wonderful fresh local foods for everyone who is cooking, entertaining and eating locally!

Beginning in May fresh produce from our area’s farms include asparagus, radishes, rhubarb and spinach, but come June a whole array of fruits and vegetables are ready to harvest. Green and yellow snap beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, salad greens, radicchio, garlic, green onions, snap and snow peas, not to mention strawberries and cherries are all Ontario farm fresh. Hurry to get the last of the local asparagus early in June – it won’t last much longer – simply grilled on the barbecue, it’s delicious!

In July, enjoy all the fresh produce that was available in June, plus corn on the cob as well as stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and apricots from the Niagara region.
What is easier entertaining than a barbecue?  A trip to one of the local farmers markets will provide ample inspiration for a romantic dinner for two or a dinner party for four to six.

Here is an early easy barbecue menu inspired by a visit to a local farmer’s market:

  • Spinach/Radicchio Salad with Roasted Peppers, Toasted Pine Nuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Ginger/Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts with Grilled Apricots  (see recipe)
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Fresh Buttered Green Snap Beans with Summer Savoury
  • Strawberry Shortcake “Martinis” with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

Recipe

Ginger/Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts with Grilled Apricots – serves 4

  • 4 – 6 oz. chicken breasts
    4 fresh apricots, halved

Marinade:

  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of one lime

 

Pierce chicken breasts evenly through skin. Mix marinade ingredients and pour over chicken breasts. Marinate for at least one hour, turning occasionally.  Remove chicken from marinade and place in a foil pan. Cover with foil wrap. Place in preheated barbecue on medium heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan and grill for about ten minutes, turning once. Brush with reserved marinade.  Grill apricots cut side down.  Serve chicken garnished with apricots.

Lin Bennett, Feast Your Eyes! Catering & Event Design