With the summer in full swing, I find myself constantly researching recipes that are great for summer entertaining. Summer time should be enjoyed outdoors instead of cooped up in the kitchen. Features that I always take into consideration are recipes that are delicious, cost effective and very easy to create. McEwan generously offered me their McEwan’s Zucchini and Corn relish to create a quick and easy summer appetizer. Thanks for the challenge – I am always game for a little recipe creation challenge!
First I visited McEwan’s newest shop in the heart of downtown Toronto, and I must say, I am kind of disappointed because I no longer work in the area. When I worked in downtown Toronto, I would always say there needs to be a store where I can pick up a quick and healthy breakfast or an on-the-go lunch as well as some great quality groceries that I needed for the week. McEwan’s satisfies all of these needs perfectly!! It’s too bad I am not closer to such a great store, but I have to say, that is the best part about it – location!! It’s right in the heart of the downtown core accessible to all of the major office buildings (and also a skip hop and a jump away from ByMark Restaurant, one of Mark McEwan’s landmark restaurants).
The shopping experience is top-notch. The store is bright and inviting (even though it’s in the underground PATH system) and the service was ridiculously good. I was fussed over like you wouldn’t believe! Everyone wanted to help me! I was approached multiple times by staff so no question was ever left unanswered. It was like the second they saw me pondering they rushed over and asked if I needed any help. I was even approached by the store manager at one point who happens to be Chef Mark McEwan’s son, Eric McEwan. Mark always speaks so fondly of his son, Eric, so it was very nice to finally meet him in his element. I welcomed the extensive help because not only was my shopping experience made more efficient and easy, each and every staff is extremely knowledgeable. I don’t want you to get the impression that the store is a hard one to navigate – everything is in plain view and it is organized very methodically with the coffee bar at the front of the store, for those who want to pop in and out, the grocery is located in the very spacious centre of the store (organized in meticulous rows and well labeled wall displays), and the hot table takes up the remainder of the store with multiple cash registers off to the outer exits of the shop to make popping in and out a breeze!
I checked out their hot table too and I must say I was very impressed by the vast selection of meal options available. I would find it hard to believe if someone walked in there looking for a meal and couldn’t find something to eat. Vegan, gluten-free, whatever the preference there are options for all! As soon as I saw their in-house made lamb shanks simmering in the beautiful juices I knew exactly what I was going to create for my quick and easy summer appetizer! I am not going to be giving you a recipe for lamb shanks here (maybe I will do that in another post one day). I created this recipe for my friends and family who are determined to spend as little time in the kitchen this summer and who love to entertain with great food.
I should spend some time talking to you about McEwan’s Own Zucchini & Corn Relish since it really is the perfect accompaniment to this flatbread. First of all, I love how hearty it is – large chunks of zucchini, bell peppers and sweet corn and that perfect amount of garlic. There are hints of curry and turmeric in the there which add a subtle spiciness but not the kind that makes your eyes tear up. This zesty and tangy relish perfectly balances out the creamy goat cheese and the succulent lamb. I encourage you to pick up the lamb shanks from the McEwan hot table as well, because they are spectacular. However, this recipe can be used using any type of protein like sausage, steak, or chicken. It is also a great way to use up leftover barbecued meats letting nothing go to waste!
This recipe is perfect because it only involves five ingredients and can be thrown together in literally 5 minutes or less making it ideal for summer entertaining. It is also made on the barbecue so you won’t even have to turn on your stove!
Here’s how you do it:
- Have all your guests sit down in your super amazing backyard retreat.
- Pour them all a huge glass of the coldest beer you can find (or wine, whatever they want!)
- Take out your flatbread, slather it with goat cheese then add on your lamb shank pieces (or whichever meat you choose to use).
- Throw it on the grill for like 2 minutes (until you can see some nice grill marks and the goat cheese starts to get nice and warm).
- Take your flatbreads off the grill and top them with McEwan Zucchini & Corn Relish and some fresh cilantro (Anyone who knows me knows I despise cilantro but I know it’s a popular herb so I serve it for popularity’s sake. Feel free to substitute the herb for one of your preference.)
- Cut up your flatbreads using a pizza cutter or scissors, serve warm, and let your guests enjoy as much as they want.
I have added the recipe at the bottom of this post should you need it but I really don’t think you will have any trouble remembering this one! I hope you all go and check out McEwan located at 66 Wellington St., Toronto. Give them a call if you have any questions and for all of your catering needs (416) 444-6262 Ext. 2.
Now go out and enjoy what’s left of this beautiful summer!
*On rare occasions I do sponsored posts when I feel the quality of the product is above average and lines up with the message that I try to share through my blog. This post has been generously sponsored by McEwan Foods located at 66Wellington St., Toronto, ON M5K 1A1 | T: 416.444.6262 Ext.2.