After the Easter egg hunt, a great way to start the celebrations is to invite friends and family to a tasty brunch.  Set your table in style with a colourful tablecloth, flowers, decorated eggs and a wonderful spread of goodies.  To help you make it easy, we are proposing a few recipes that can easily be served buffet style.

Kale Salad with Apple, Cranberries and Pecans

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INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • ½ cup pecans
  • 8 ounces kale
  • 4 to 5 medium radishes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, or feta chilled

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pull or cut the kale leaves from the tough stems and discard the stems. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces.  Transfer the kale to a big salad bowl.  Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the kale and massage the leaves with your hands, by lightly scrunching big handfuls at a time, until the leaves are darker in colour and fragrant.
  2. Thinly slice the radishes and add them to the bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop the pecans and cranberries (or cherries) and add them to the bowl. Chop the apple into small, bite-sized pieces and add it to the bowl as well.  Crumble the cheese over the top.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss until the salad is evenly coated with dressing.  Serve immediately, or for even better flavor, let the salad marinate in the dressing for 10 to 20 minutes beforehand.

Simple Bruschetta

51e095f5d4a2501c7e005056INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baguette (8 to 10 ounces), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jar of Olive Bruschetta
  • 1 tomato, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets; brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden.  Let cool on baking sheets.  Top crostini with the olive bruschetta and the tomatoes.  Arrange them nicely on a platter.

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Balsamic Vinegar

INGREDIENTS

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  • 8 carrots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • Balsamic vinegar (I like to use a thicker and sweeter vinegar such as Balsamic glaze)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the whole carrots into a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix until the carrots are completely covered with olive oil.  Pour on the honey, then season to taste with salt and pepper; mix until evenly coated.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, or cooked to your desired degree of doneness, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Before serving drizzle with some balsamic vinegar

Creamy Ham Torte

This delicious and decadent dish will please young and old!  It is simply happiness in a pan.

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INGREDIENTS

½ pastry dough

The Filling

  • 60 g (2 ounces) butter
  • 60 g (2 ounces) flour
  • 500ml (2 cups) Milk
  • 150 g (5 ounces) ham cut in small slivers (4 x 1cm)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 80 g of Emmental cheese grated (5 Brothers cheese, from Woodstock, Ontario would be very good)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Butter your pie molds with removable bottom.  Line a 9-in. pie plate with 1 crust; trim, leaving a 1-in. overhang around edge.  Set parchment paper at the bottom of your mold and add beans on the paper, press lightly to make sure they stick to the bottom of the mold.
  • Cook for 10 minutes. Take the beans out and cook for another 5 minutes.  Take the crust out of the oven to cool.  Bring the oven temperature to 325F
  • For the filling: in a pan melt the butter, sprinkle the flour on the butter, cook for 1 minute, stirring to allow to brown. Add the milk little by little, stirring vigorously for about 8 minutes or until the sauce is thick and creamy.  Add the ham, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Set aside for 20 minute until cool.
  • Pour the mixture over the dough, sprinkle with the cheese and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. For more colour, broil for 30 seconds
  • Take the torte out of oven to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board requires minimal effort but has something for everyone.  Try to offer a range of different textures and tastes, varying from sharp firm cheeses to aromatic soft types. To make it extra special choose from different milks, such as cow, goat and sheep.  If cheese is one of many items being served, plan on buying 3 to 4 ounces per person.  Include a selection of bread, crackers and condiments such as honey, tart chutney or spicy mustard.

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Here are our picks:

Soft cheese

  • Figaro
  • Goat Pearls

Semi-soft cheese

  • Tête à Papineau
  • Tipsy

Hard Cheese

  • Glengarry Aged Lankaaster
  • Handeck

Fruit Salad with a twist

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1 c. blackberries
  • 1 c. blueberries
  • 1 c. strawberries, quartered
  • 1 c. pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 1 c. Prosecco, chilled (if you don’t want to serve alcohol you can use Estoublon bubbly grape juice)
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • dash of bitters
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all fruit.
  2. Pour prosecco, orange juice and honey over fruit and toss carefully to combine. Garnish with mint and serve.

Serve with Sprucewood Lemon or Maple Shortbread cookies

 

 

 

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