round asparagus tart

Summer is here, and what better way to celebrate than by eating local with farm-fresh Canadian fruits and vegetables! Walmart features an array of fresh produce from farmers across the country, and with these quick and easy recipes, you’ll never run out of ideas on how to enjoy what’s in season.

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ginger beef lettuce wraps

Crisp Canadian iceberg lettuce is the perfect vessel for these beef and grain-filled wraps, delivering a fresh and satisfying lunch or dinner option. Not a fan of iceberg lettuce? Sub in leaf or Boston lettuce instead.

Whatever lettuce you choose, storing it correctly is key. “Keep lettuce dry and make sure it never gets wet,” says Andy Vermeulen of Vermeulen Farms Limited in Canning, N.S. “I just put it in an old plastic grocery bag and don’t wrap it too tightly, but wrap it so that it’s closed in. I’ll have lettuce for sandwiches for weeks off that.”

Leaf lettuce should last up to seven days when properly stored in the fridge, while iceberg lettuce has an even longer shelf life, and can stay fresh for up to two weeks.[1]

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beef and lentil burgers with carrot slaw

Carrots add colourful punch to any veggie plate or savoury side dish, but this flavourful slaw showcases them in all their crunchy glory. Throw it on your next bun to make barbecued burgers extra special, or whip up a batch to enjoy all on its own, and enjoy some peace of mind knowing your Walmart carrots are grown conscientiously.

“Everything we grow, including carrots, is grown without GMOs,” says Anthony Agresti of Holland Landing, Ont.’s ATV Farms. This Canadian farm also champions sustainability, using a “weed zapper”—a nifty tool that controls weeds with electricity—instead of herbicides.

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round asparagus tart

Asparagus is delightful whether you grill it on the barbecue or bake it in the oven (maybe with some roasted red peppers). But if you’re looking for a seasonal main, this buttery and cheesy tart is brimming with local produce and is perfect for a summery brunch or dinner.

Ever wonder why the asparagus you buy from Walmart cooks so perfectly? You can thank farmer Scott Biddle, owner of Scotlynn Sweetpac Growers, for that. “That’s the technology—we bought a sorting machine that packs all of our asparagus uniformly. That way when you cook it, every spear cooks evenly.”

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zucchini pancakes with feta

Grated zucchini is delish in burgers, meatballs, muffins and breads, but the local food is a downright star in these fresh and savoury pancakes. The parcels of feta-spiked goodness are perfect for any meal, and are ready to serve in under half an hour.

Bought more than you need? You’re missing out if you’ve only been eating zucchini as a side dish, says Vermeulen. “Some people always put onions in their hamburgers, but we never have hamburgers without zucchini. It adds moisture, and they’re the most tender burgers you’ve ever had.”

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spring green celery salad

Celery is a great vessel for nut butters and dips (nature knows what’s up), but it also adds  crunchy bite to lettuce and potato salads. Throw diced ribs into this lemony salad and save the stalks to make veggie stock—or to grow new celery.

Store your celery well and you can use it a range of dishes. “Keep celery upright and in the fridge,” says Vermeulen. “If it gets limp, just sit it in a bowl or cup of water, and it will harden up again.” Stalks will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator or 10-12 months in the freezer.[2] That’s good news if you have leftover summer celery—just wash, dry and chop it, and store it in a freezer bag to add to soups in the fall and winter.

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spicy corn on the cob

Canadian corn is freshest in mid to late summer and tastes especially great when it’s paired with fresh barbecue or smoked meats. And while butter and salt go a long way, it can be fun to spice things up, like with this zesty lime and chili powder blend.

Prefer to boil your corn? Take some tips from a pro: “A lot of people overcook corn,” says Biddle. “The only way to prepare corn indoors is by bringing the water to a boil, dropping the corn in, and when the water begins to boil again, pulling it out. It usually takes about three to three-and-a-half minutes. That is the longest you should ever cook corn. If you cook it beyond that point, the sugar releases, the corn turns starchy and it won’t be sweet anymore.”

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grilled watermelon caprese with beef skewers

Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella are an iconic combination, but for a new spin on this summer classic, try a Caprese salad with grilled watermelon in place of tomatoes. It might just be your next barbecue showstopper.

There’s a good reason those summer watermelons you get from Walmart are so sweet and tasty, says Biddle: “Within 24 hours of harvesting, all of our crops are on the shelf at the store. The freshness couldn’t be any better.”

When selecting melons, choose produce that is firm, and avoid bruised or damaged fruit, which can become contaminated through spoiled parts of the outer rind. However, blemishes on one side—where the melon was resting on the ground at the farm—are perfectly fine.[3]

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broccoli salad with bacon and apples

Sometimes your salad game needs reviving. That’s where this sweet-and-savoury concoction comes in. Fresh broccoli holds its own against sweet apples and salty bacon, and it all comes together with a maple syrup-lemon sauce that’s basically summer on a plate.

“Broccoli can be kept in the fridge for one week,” says Martin Cousineau of Les Jardins Paul Cousineau et Fils Inc in Saint-Constant, Que., one of Canada’s largest broccoli farms. “Limp florets or soft stems are a sign of old broccoli,” he says, so be sure to use them up while they’re still bright and green.

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beet and cauliflower hummus

Move over chickpeas, because there’s a new hummus in town. This bean-free dip features cauliflower and beets as its star ingredients, making it a veggie-packed alternative for your next summer spread.

Getting ready to scrub some farm-fresh beets? Don’t discard their leafy greens, says Agresti, who is excited for his farm’s upcoming, brand new 100,000-sq ft. processing facility, which will help keep its produce fresh, safe and beautiful.

Beet greens are great in salads or stir-fries and even more nutritious than the bulbs themselves.[4]

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French onion soup puffs

Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sweet, sweet flavours of French onion soup. Cool off with an appetizer version that celebrates those beefy onion soup flavours, wrapping them in buttery puff pastry.

Bonus: the onions you buy for this recipe will have a long shelf life when stored properly. Keep them in a dark, cool area, says Agresti. Leave the skins on and do not wash them before storing. “Onions either start from a greenhouse to grow into a small plant and are then transplanted into our fields for early season harvest in July, or for normal harvest to late harvest they are seeded directly into our fields then harvested in late summer to early fall,” he says.

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Shop What's in Season This Summer

Article Sources

  1. Health Canada. Safe food storage.
  2. Health Canada. Safe food storage.
  3. Health Canada. Food safety tips for melons.
  4. The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Growing Beets.

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