You know what my favourite thing about summer is?
No, it’s not the sunshine that comes streaming into my bedroom window at 6am and finally dips beyond the horizon at 10pm. No, it’s not the cool nights spent gathered around the campfire. And no, it’s not the lazy weekends spent barefoot in the backyard. It’s the food! Ontario comes to life in the summer months producing some of the best & freshest food you’ll ever eat! Tomoates, zucchini, cherries, cucumbers, raspberries, watermelon, corn, peas, plums… I can go on!?
The freshness and vibrant flavours of locally grown foods are unlike any other! I mean, how can you turn your nose up at a tree-ripened peach that dribbles sweet and sticky juice down your chin when you bite into it? Or completely ignore the fragrant aroma of freshly picked herbs that call to you from the stands of your local farmers market? There is just so much goodness to be thankful for when it comes to food in Ontario!
So, in order to celebrate all the good that Ontario grows, my team & I at Real Food Creative have launched a brand new initiative called Love Local Food. Our locally inspired e-magazine will feature delicious recipes, where-to-eat guides, articles on the local food that you love, cooking tips and cool local finds! Best of all, we are currently running a contest where you can win a foodie getaway in the beautiful and bountiful region of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Who could say “no” to that!?
Now, onto the best part of this post… the pasta! Overflowing with local goodness this pasta is perfect for any summer potluck! Ontario zucchini, chicken, onion and tomatoes are grilled on the BBQ and then served on fresh pesto-tossed pasta with bocconcini and avocado! The best thing about this pasta is the ability to customize it; grilled corn, grilled eggplant, or grilled mushrooms would also be delicious! Or completely mix it up and toss the pasta with a homemade roasted red pepper pesto – the sky’s the limit!
Grilled Chicken & Veggie Pesto Pasta
2 cups tri-colour tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 small chicken breasts, butterflied
1 small red onion, cut into rounds
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup bocconcini cheese
300 g fresh linguine
¼ – ½ cup fresh homemade (or store-bought) pesto
Fresh basil for garnish
Preheat grill to medium. Place tomatoes in tin-foil packet. Grill tomatoes, zucchini, chicken and onion for 8-10 minutes, flipping frequently until chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, prepare pasta as per package directions. In a large bowl toss the drained pasta with as much pesto as desired and top with grilled veggies, chicken, avocado, bocconcini, and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Mmmmm!!
What’s your favourite thing about summer?