Canadians LOVE Italian Food! In fact, a recent survey revealed 42% of Canadians love Italian food and 22% enjoy eating pasta as a family. As the National presenting food sponsor of Italian Heritage Month in June, Aurora Importing and Distributing, Canada’s largest importer of Italian foods, is celebrating the backyard grill season.
To celebrate Italian Heritage Month and all things Italian in Canada, the company has tapped the talents of Chef Pritchard who has developed eight original and unique summer recipes to showcase how Canadians can add a taste of Italy to their backyard entertaining this summer. Here is one of our picks – an Italian family favourite dish with a summer twist.
Recipe credit: Chef Christian Pritchard for Aurora Importing & Distributing
2 lb (900 g) fresh heirloom tomatoes, cut in quarters
2 tsp (10mL / 10 g) Aurora sea salt
3/4 lb (340 g) day old rustic bread, cubed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5mL) Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (120mL) Aurora olive oil
1/4 (60mL) of Aurora red wine vinegar
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (120mL / 170g) fresh basil, chopped
Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Season tomatoes with salt and place in a colander set over a bowl for 15 minutes. Reserve tomato juice in a bowl for later. Toast the cubed bread in oven for 15 minutes at 400°F. Let bread cool. In the bowl with the reserved tomato juice, add red onion, cucumber, garlic and Dijon mustard. Stirring constantly, add olive oil, red wine vinegar and pepper until combined. Add toasted bread and tomatoes, stir and let rest for 20 minutes. Add basil and serve.
Here are some culinary tips on how to add a taste of Italy to your summertime favourites!
-Add a finishing touch to food coming of the barbecue with your favourite Italian olive oil, like Basso.
-For maximum flavour, don’t forget to prep veggies and protein headed to the grill by seasoning with salt, pepper and chopped fresh herbs.
-Make your barbecue side burner your best friend! Don’t be afraid to cook pasta, potatoes or veggies right beside you while grilling on the barbecue.