Last night we were running late from an out of town appointment and I had no dinner plans.
Luckily we passed a farm stand on the way home and picked up some corn. Our tomatoes are just ripening in the garden and we have tonnes of basil. I also had some greens from the market and some homemade feta (so yummy), and half a loaf of going-stale bread. And so dinner was a version of Tomato Bread Salad served on some mixed lettuce greens, with corn on the cob, followed with some summer peaches and blueberries on yogurt for dessert. And it was all ready and on the table in about 15 minutes.
It was one of those perfect, and almost entirely local meals that seem so easy in the summer.
And very timely, considering it is Canada Food Day this weekend. Canada Food Day was launched almost a decade ago by local cookbook author and foodie Anita Stewart and supported annually by the University of Guelph. We’re lucky to have so many great farmstands and locavore restaurants in the area. And if there was ever a time to support our local farmers, it’s this year when so many of them are struggling with this drought.
If you want to celebrate local food this weekend, there will be a Local Food display at Market Square in front of City Hall on Saturday as part of the John Galt Day celebrations. The KIPP project in Bissell Park in Elora will be baking baguettes and other treats in their outdoor wood fired oven and Anita Stewart will be at the Grand River Raceway with samples of various local foods. You can check out local farms, markets and pick your places at the Taste Local website.
Tomato Bread Salad
1/2 a loaf of slightly stale bread, cut or ripped into 1 inch squares.
3-4 cups roughly chopped tomatoes (I used about 6 small Romas, 3 largish beefstakes and a few yellow cherry tomatoes for colour and sweetness)
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly toast the bread chunks, stirring as necessary. This crisped them up nicely.
2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, onion and feta. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper. Toss dressing with tomato mixture. Let sit for a bit if you can to let the flavours meld. But if you are in a rush, add bread just before serving, lightly toss and serve on a bed of greens.
I skipped the salt as the feta added enough salt, although you could certainly add a bit of salt to taste.