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This Summer, Everything Will Be Different

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Nona Pia

The spirit of summer is in the air – I’ll go right out and say it. The hustle and bustle isn’t just within the Granville Island Public Market, but spans from Bridges Restaurant, past Edible Canada, to the eastern shores at the Granville Island Hotel. Whether you’re joining us for our Granville Island Market Tour or picking up some fresh spot prawns at Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll find that when the sun shines in Vancouver, it’s hard to find a better place to eat, sit, drink and enjoy, than on Granville Island.

We’re so excited to welcome more out-of-town visitors on our tours and show off the fresh, West-Coast cuisine that we have here in the city. I am floored by the volume and variety of fresh produce that we are spoiled with in the summer season. As I wandered through in the Granville Island Public Market this week, I was greatly inspired by the rows of deep green vegetables, vibrant peppers, and fragrant Pink Lady apples. With endless weeks of sunshine seemingly just around the corner, I wanted to share one of my favourite summer recipes that goes “2.0” with a handful of ingredients from Granville Island.

Master a bruschetta and you’ll have a staple for any dinner party, picnic, or midday affair. With a relatively small list of simple and accessible ingredients, if you are ready to shop and chop, you are ready to make bruschetta. The key is to use quality ingredients; bruschetta is totally uncooked so it’s a perfect opportunity to showcase the natural flavour of each item. Here’s the rundown I recommend:

Lil’ Dumpling’s Summer Bruschetta:
(Serves as a starter for 4)

From the Granville Island Public Market:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes (look for a slightly firm texture – it will make them easier to chop)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • A few good grates of 6-year old cheddar from Benton Brothers (be generous!)

From Edible Canada’s Retail Store:

  • 1/3 cup Aceto Toscano Oil – Or, pop open that nice olive oil!
  • 1/4 cup Nonna Pia’s Classic Squeeze – This is a balsamic reduction that really takes the bruschetta over the top. It’s made using 6-year aged 100% balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, infused with herbs, and produced, bottled, and packaged in Whistler, BC. Before I found Nonna Pia’s, I finished this recipe with a splash of everyday balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of honey. But, I love that Nonna Pia’s already has a sweetness embedded within it, eliminating the need for added sugar. The thickness of the Classic Squeeze (similar to a chocolate syrup) is great for this recipe as the tomatoes and onions will release their own liquid as they are chopped. When you’re wining and dining, worrying about a runny balsamic spilling down your front is the last thing you need!

Chop. Mix. Let it all sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, or for up to 2 hours in the fridge. (Seriously though, you’ll want to taste-test immediately, but the flavours will blossom and bind together if you let it sit.) Then, serve with a Green Olive Loaf from Terra Breads and you’ll be dancing. Or are you dreaming? Is this heaven?

Watch for more recipes to come from our adventures at the Granville Island Public Market! Got an ingredient to recommend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! #seetastelaugh


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