Monday, 12 June 2017

Seasonal Ontario Food's Top Ten - Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres, Soups & Salads

Ten years of blogging! There's been a whole lot of food under the bridge in that time. I thought I'd try to narrow down some of my favourites, and some of the most popular recipes from Seasonal Ontario Food. So, some LISTS, every day for the rest of the week. I'll start at the beginning with Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres, Soups, and Salads. These are in order of publication, no other order intended or implied, although I am going to put in my most popular post of each category.

AND HEY! I want to know - what ones are YOUR favourites?

Top Ten Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres:

Yes, I like dips and it shows. Still I think there is a reasonable variety here.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce - colourful, flavourful, flexible, simple... what's not to like?

Louise's Emergency Salsa Dip - sometimes the best things come from thinking on your feet.

Sunflower Vegetable Paté - best tasting beige lump, bar none.

Baked Scotch Eggs - much easier to make especially when it's time to clean up than deep-fried; this is my most-viewed appetizer recipe. 

Seedy Red Fife Crackers - lots of dips here; need something to scoop them up. These are good! Even without the dips.

Tzatziki Stuffed Cucumbers - a simple and modest but delicious treat for warm summer days.

Fried Halloumi Cheese on Polenta Cakes with Tomato Sauce - I can get a little fancy, when the occasion warrants it, but these are still quite straightforward.

Cheesy Zucchini Bake - an old-fashioned family recipe but one that's guaranteed to please. Oh well, guaranteed. You know. I hear not everyone loves cheese. Well, they just aren't family then.

Cherry Tomato & Shallot Bruschetta - roasty stuff, on toast; always a winner.

Roasted Red Pepper & Cheddar Dip - O dips! How I love you. And this one is a classic.

Top Ten Soups

This one was hard. Very, very hard. I don't know if I'm particularly good at making soup (she said modestly) or if soup is just sooo good, or both. (Both.) All I can say is that narrowing it down to just 10 was quite the job. There's at least another 10 that should be on this list.

Chicken Barley Soup - simple and classic; can't be beat.

Baked Bean Style Bean Soup - a real rib-sticker for cold winter days. And yes, Navy beans and split peas.

Smoked Trout & Rutabaga Chowder - under-rated ingredients produce an unusual but special chowder.

Kitchen Sink Soup - a vegetarian legume soup for the masses, in more ways than one. A perennial winter favourite.

Cream of Rutabaga Soup - yes I said CREAM OF RUTABAGA. It's DEElicious. Deal with it.

Vegetarian Sauerkraut Soup - my most viewed soup recipe. Not sure it would have made my best-of list otherwise, but it is a fine and easy little soup, so maybe.

Dad's Bean Soup - I think he picked this one up when he was in the army. He did pick up his basic cooking skills there. And while this is very plain and simple, it hits the damn-this-is-good bean soup spot very nicely, without being too heavy.

Leek & Brussels Sprouts Soup - with bacon; what could go wrong? Nothing, that's what.

Milky Vegetable Chowder - another simple yet surprisingly satisfying light soup.

Sopa de Ajo - much better than the photo suggests. Yes it is a bit gloppy, but it's glorious glop.

Curried Roasted Parsnip & Apple Soup - this one might be my personal all-time favourite. Yes, it's rather good. Use my Madras Curry recipe for the curry powder nowadays.

Stracciatella with Sorrel, Spinach, & Shallot Greens - Italian, with a local twist. My food doesn't always look it, but I am so inspired by the Italian approach to food.

Minestrone di Piselli - One of the simplest soups on this list, but it sticks in my memory as really special. Super fresh peas and good soup stock can do that. And I can count just fine, thank you.

Top Ten Salads

Just as hard as the soups to narrow down, really. I love salads, and as my selection shows, I particularly love salads with cheese, fresh or dried fruit, and/or nuts and seeds. Also, cheese.

Spinach, Strawberry & Buttered Almond Salad - make it now! Or at least, within a few weeks. A classic for very good reasons. Sautéing the almonds takes it out of the ordinary, as do perfect Ontario strawberries.

Lentil, Roasted Onion & Spinach Salad - a robust and hearty meal salad, although it would play second fiddle to the right main dish quite well. A bit time consuming, but easy and worth the effort.

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Pasta Salad - I guess if pushed I have to pick this one over Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Salad, but it sure is a tough choice. They're both awfully good!

Root Slaw - my stats show 29 people have viewed this recipe at time of posting, which is pathetic. It's a delightful winter salad and deserves much better. Check it out!

Fruit & Carrot Salad - is it fruit salad, or is it carrot salad? I guess it's fruit and carrot salad and it hits the spot in late winter; so sweet and juicy but grounded by the carrots.

Leeks Vinaigrette - or, do I mean Zucchini Vinaigrette? So hard to choose, so very very hard.

Japanese Carrot Dressing - very nice but again, if it wasn't my most-viewed salad I don't believe it would be on this list.

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing - the ultimate. Yup; the ultimate. The secret is - not in the blue cheese.

Chick Pea, Egg & Belgian Endive Salad - a modest little group of ingredients that just go together so, so well.

Cabbage, Carrot, Sprout & Apple Salad - simple, simple, simple; I hardly thought it was a recipe but it's just awfully good.

Red Cabbage & Parsley Slaw - I forgot to mention the raw parsnip, which makes it. Seriously. I made this then spent all year waiting so I could make it again.

Taco Salad - ho hum, a cliche. But, I have to admit, a really delicious one. That's a zingy, singy salad dressing if I do say so myself.

Cold Zucchini Stuffed with Cheese & Seeds - how to eat stuffed zucchini in the heat of summer, which is when you are going to have zucchini, after all.

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