Fresh ideas for long, hot summer days and nights

Fresh ideas for long, hot summer days and nights

Whether you’re on the deck, by the lake, in the mountains or beside the pool with friends and family… all you need is the right cheese and the perfect wine pairing for fresh and easy summertime deliciousness. This time of year is ripe for fresh ingredients like tomatoes, leafy lettuce, herbs and local vegetables. And what better way to add a little nutritious twist and a lot of taste to great summer meals, than by adding Canadian cheese?

Cheese expert Anne-Marie Shubin recommends adding aged Canadian Cheddar to green salads, as well as toasted pumpkin seeds and thinly sliced apples. Cubes of Roasted Garlic Havarti or crumbled Canadian Feta are also wonderful with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Summer salads are a quick and easy, light meal idea that energize without causing “lunch coma”—so that you don’t need to take a nap in the hammock before you go on to your next summertime activity. Green summer salads go well with a Sauvignon Blanc: Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre, both from the Loire Valley, are known for their refreshing, vibrant nature and signature aromas of a freshly mowed lawn or ripe green bell peppers.

Thin-crust pizzas are also a great way to eat right in the summer when loaded with fresh vegetables and the right cheeses.

An Italian-style pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil and Canadian Mozzarella is always nice with a Barbera wine, made from one of Italy’s most common grapes. It’s light bodied with a mouth-watering acidity that is best consumed young.

A tangy, dry Chianti is also a great choice. Or go for a medium-bodied Sangiovese. Its pronounced acidity makes it perfectly companionable with any tomato-based Italian dish.

To explore new cheeses for your pizza, try substituting Canadian Friulano for the Mozzarella and then add a teaspoon of green hot pepper sauce for a little extra zing. Soft Bocconcini, sliced green olives and baby spinach leaves are also delicious alternate ingredients for this popular summer dish.


Course: Main dish or appetizer
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes



1 1/2 cups (375 ml) diced fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup (50 ml) chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp (3 ml) dried basil
12-inch (30 cm) prebaked whole-wheat pizza crust
1/2 cup (125 ml) pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) shredded Canadian Mozzarella or Friulano
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and dried basil.
Keep 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture in a separate bowl.
Spread sauce on the pizza crust.
Sprinkle tomato mixture over the crust and top with Mozzarella cheese.
Place pizza directly on the middle rack of the oven and bake approx. 15 minutes
or until crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling.
Remove pizza from the oven and sprinkle with basil and remaining tomato mixture.

For more recipes and information on Canadian cheeses, visit All You Need is Cheese.



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