Category Archives: Appetizers

Spring Vegetable Tarts

Celebrate the start of a new season with these beautiful spring vegetable tarts. They’re easy, yet elegant and make a great side dish for your Easter ham or roast. Or let them be the star of Easter brunch and serve along with a light arugula salad. 

Spring Vegetable Tarts

Spring Vegetable Tarts
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry, thawed
  2. A handful of thin asparagus, chopped into 2-3-inch long pieces with stems
  3. 3/4 cup ricotta
  4. 3 tablespoons TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN LEMON DILL VINAIGRETTE
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  8. About 10 mint leaves
  9. Fresh parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray. Place the pastry sheet onto the parchment and cut into 4 squares. Score a 1-inch border around the edge of each square and prick a few times with a fork.
  3. Mix the ricotta with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN LEMON DILL VINAIGRETTE, salt, and pepper. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly inside the border of each square. Note that you may not use it all. Top each square with a few pieces of asparagus on the diagonal. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
  4. Brush the borders of each tart with the beaten egg, then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  5. Place peas in a small bowl and drizzle with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN LEMON DILL VINAIGRETTE; toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Top the cooked tarts with the peas, then finish with mint leaves and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Apple & Brie Crostinis with Apple White Wine Jelly

Everyone needs a go-to appetizer and crostini are easy and versatile. This isn’t so much of a recipe, but rather more of an idea to get you inspired. I’ve used a combination of sweet, tart and creamy components, but you can vary it according to your flavour preferences. Try swapping the brie for blue cheese, or adding in some salty prosciutto.

Apple Brie Crostini with Apple White Wine Jelly

Apple Brie Crostini with Apple White Wine Jelly
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 baguette, cut into thin slices
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 6 ounces of Brie cheese, cut into thin slices
  4. 1−2 fresh apples, thinly sliced, I used Granny Smiths
  5. 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  6. 1/4 cup TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN APPLE WHITE WINE JELLY
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Lightly brush each baguette slice with olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Remove from oven and top each with a slice of Brie. Place back in oven for about 5 minutes or just until the brie begins to melt. Remove from oven. Top with thin apple slices, TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN APPLE WHITE WINE JELLY and sprinkle with walnuts.
  3. Arrange on a cutting board or platter and serve immediately. (They are best when still warm!)
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Edamame Dip with Matcha Green Tea & Ginger

Happy New Year everyone! We’re back in the kitchen after a relaxing and refreshing holiday and ready to kick off 2015 on the right foot. We’ve whipped up this delicious Edamame Dip with Matcha Green Tea & Ginger that is not only super easy, but it’s also very versatile.

Try it:

  • As a dip – Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve along side veggies and crackers.
  • As an appetizer – Top crostini or wonton crackers with edamame dip, baby micro greens, thinly sliced radishes and a drizzle of our Match Green Tea & Ginger Vinaigrette
  • In a sandwich – Try it with seared tuna on lightly grilled sourdough
  • As a side dish – This pairs great with poached salmon and a spicy cucumber salad

Edamame Dip with Matcha Green Tea & Ginger

Edamame Dip with Matcha Green Tea & Ginger
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
9 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
9 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup frozen, pealed edamame beans
  2. 3 tbsp TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN MATCHA GREEN TEA & GINGER VINAIGRETTE
  3. 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  4. Red Chili Flakes to taste
  5. 3 tbsp reserved cooking water (approximately)
Instructions
  1. Boil frozen, pealed edamame beans in water for 4 minutes (or according to package directions)
  2. Drain beans, reserving about 1/2 a cup of the cooking water
  3. Place edamame beans, TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN MATCHA GREEN TEA & GINGER VINAIGRETTE, Sesame Oil, Chili Flakes and 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking water into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more cooking water if necessary.
  4. Enjoy as a dip, a side dish, in a sandwich or part of an appetizer.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Easy Holiday Entertaining – Cheese & Charcuterie Plate

Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether it’s a casual christmas open house, a festive family dinner or a rocking cocktail party, just about everyone says cheese! These simple tips will help you whip up a delicious spread sure to please all of your holiday guests.

Cheese & Charcuterie Plate

Pick

  • When picking what to serve, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese and meat per person. 
  • Try to include a variety of textures, something spreadable (soft goat cheese, creamy brie, paté or a terrine) something thinly sliced (prosciutto, salami, or coppa) and something you can cut yourself (aged cheddar, funky blue, or garlic sausage).

Pair

What you choose to serve with your spread is just as important as the meats and cheeses themselves.  Additions like olives, roasted nuts, dips and spreads, marinated vegetables and of course crusty bread and flakey crackers are key.

  • Serve both bread and crackers – different textures enhance the experience. Some favourites are crostinis, water crackers and a nice fresh baguette.
  • Fruits and nuts, help amplify the sweetness of the cheese and provide some texture. Try both dried (cranberries, dates, figs), and fresh (sliced apples, grapes or melon) along side salty nuts like almonds, pistachios or cashews.
  • Savoury items like pickled vegetables, marinated artichokes, and olives help break up the richness and provide some acid. 
  • Dips and spreads – This, simply put, is the “cherry on top”. A smear of our Brewhouse Stoned Mustard or a Spicy Pepper Jelly  is always welcome and just elevates the platter to another level. This time of year our Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly, or our Apple White Wine Jelly are great options.  

Plate

  • Unwrap the cheeses and arrange them on a platter (or wooden cutting board, slab of natural stone, etc) at least an hour before serving.  Letting cheeses “breathe” enhances the flavours.
  • Set out a separate knife for each cheese, especially the soft varieties. Soft cheese spreads well with a butter knife; firm cheese might require a paring knife; and aged cheese often requires a cheese plane.
  • Label each cheese. This way your guests know what they’re enjoying.

Pretzel Bites with Cranberry Honey Mustard

Last up in our trio of Game-day snacks are these Pretzel Bites with Cranberry Honey Mustard. They do take a bit of time, and can be a bit messy to make, but they are definitely worth it. Soft and chewy with a nice kick of salt. You wont be able to stop reaching for them!

Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Bites with Cranberry Honey Mustard
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Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups warm water
  2. 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  3. 1 package active dry yeast
  4. 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  5. 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 4¾ cups all-purpose flour
  7. Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  8. 10 cups water + 1 tbsp (separate)
  9. ⅔ cup baking soda
  10. 1 egg, beaten
  11. Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. (if you don't have a stand mixer this can be done by hand as well). Stir, then let everything sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together your flour and salt.
  3. Dump your dry ingredients into the bowl of your mixer with the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until combined.
  4. Increase the speed to medium until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured flat surface for an additional minute.
  6. Grease the inside of a large bowl with vegetable oil or cooking spray, and return the dough to the bowl, turning until the surface is coated with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, dry place for an hour.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together your egg + 1 tbsp water. Set aside (this is your egg wash).
  8. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  9. Combine your baking soda and 10 cups water in a large pot, and bring it to a rolling boil.
  10. While your water is heating, take your dough out of the bowl and divide it into 8 equal pieces.
  11. One at a time, on a lightly floured, flat surface, roll each piece into a long thin rope, about 22 inches. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
  12. Working in batches, drop your pretzel bites into your boiling water and boil them for 30-45 seconds.
  13. Use a strainer to remove the bites from the water, drain them, and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet (make sure they aren’t touching). Repeat until all pretzel bites have been boiled.
  14. Brush the tops of your pretzel bites with the egg wash and sprinkle everything liberally with sea salt.
  15. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until pretzel bites are golden brown (Be careful not to over bake, or the bottoms will start to burn).
  16. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack.
  17. Serve with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN CRANBERRY HONEY MUSTARD
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Oven Roasted Potato Skins

Potato skins are a favourite bar snack that’s easy to make at home, and are great for serving on game-day! Serve with our South of the Border Dip for a snack that’s sure to please a hungry crowd.

Potato Skins

Oven Roasted Potato Skins
Serves 8
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Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
For the Potatos Skins
  1. 4 Potatoes, scrubbed clean
  2. Olive Oil, for drizzling
  3. TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING
  4. ½ Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
  5. 4 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  6. Scallions, thinly sliced for garnish, optional
For the Dip
  1. 1 Cup Sour Cream
  2. 1 tbsp TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Rub lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until the pairing knife inserted into the potato goes in smoothly. Cool completely.
  4. While waiting make the dip - Mix Sour Cream and TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING. Let chill in your fridge until ready to serve.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450º.
  6. Once the potatoes are cool, cut them in half and very gently scoop out the insides, leaving a ¼ inch layer of potato. Be careful not to scoop out too much or the potato skin will break and not hold together!
  7. Carefully cut each half in half; you will have 16 potato skins total.
  8. Rub the skins with olive oil and sprinkle with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING again. Bake the skins for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. This will get them nice and crispy.
  9. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle them evenly with the cheese and bacon, pop them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts and is bubbly.
  10. Let the potato skins cool slightly and then top with South of the Border Dip and scallions if desired.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Spicy Beer Cheese Dip

It’s football season, and we’re gearing up for the big game. Grey Cup is this weekend so I thought it would be fun to share some game-day snacks that are great for a crowd. First up Spicy Beer Cheese Dip.

Spicy Beer Cheese Dip

Spicy Beer Cheese Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  2. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  3. 8 oz. cream cheese
  4. ½ cup light-medium beer
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  6. 2 tbsp TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING
Instructions
  1. Combine beer, cheeses, jalapeno pepper and TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SOUTH OF THE BORDER SEASONING in a sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Melt down the cheese mixture and stir until it is smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. Once mixture is smooth and velvety, remove it from the heat and pour it into a serving bowl.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Tomato Tart

Puff pastry is one of the greatest things you can keep in your freezer. It’s so versatile and surprisingly easy to work with. If you’ve never used it before this Tomato Tart is the perfect introduction. With the ingredients on hand, it will literally take you 5 minutes to throw this together. 

Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Sheet puff pastry (thawed)
  2. 3 tbsp TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE
  3. 3-4 medium tomatoes
  4. 50g fresh mozzarella
  5. 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Roll out puff pastry and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Lightly score around the edges, being careful not to cut all the way through, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  4. Spread a thin layer of TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE over center of pastry.
  5. Slice tomatoes and place on a piece of paper town for a couple of seconds to absorb some of the moisture. Layer tomatoes, top with torn mozzarella and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Notes
  1. Feel free to mix up the cheese or herbs for different combinations. Goat cheese, or Feta would be delicious in this as well basil or chopped chives.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These fresh and healthy lettuce wraps  make a great appetizer or a light lunch or dinner. Guests love “rolling their own,” so prep is a snap, and you can easily double or triple the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 large iceberg or butter lettuce leaves
  2. 1/2 cup TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SWEET CHILI SAUCE (plus more for dipping)
  3. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, minced
  4. 2 green onions, minced
  5. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  6. 1 tsp cornstarch
  7. 2 tbsp peanut oil
  8. 3 medium shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce), stemmed, minced
  9. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  10. 1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  11. 1/4 cup unsalted, roasted cashews, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix chicken, TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SWEET CHILI SAUCE, green onions, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl; marinate 10 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 15 seconds.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds.
  4. Add chicken mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaves, dividing equally.
  6. Garnish with cashews.
  7. Roll leaves around filling and dip into TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN SWEET CHILI SAUCE.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/

Dill-icious Dip

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Our Dry Herb Mixes make it a cinch to pull together a quick dip for a party or a last minute snack for unexpected guests.

Dill-icious Dip

Dill-icious Dip
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Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cups Sour Cream
  2. 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  3. 3 Tablespoons TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN DILL-ICIOUS HERB BLEND
Instructions
  1. Mix Sour Cream and Mayonnaise together with TASTE OF THE OKANAGAN DILL-ICIOUS HERB BLEND.
  2. Place in the fridge for a least 20 minutes to help blend the flavors.
  3. Serve it with fresh veggies, crackers, or cubed bread, and your guests will gobble it up.
Notes
  1. You can also swap in yogurt, cream cheese or cottage cheese.
Taste of the Okanagan Specialty Foods http://tasteoftheokanagan.com/recipes/