Top Recipes Featuring Locally Grown Ontario Foods

top-local-food- recipes-holiday-dinner

With the holidays and first day of winter coming up soon, there’s no better time to plan out a lovely dinner of local food recipes that will bring together your family and friends. From appetizers to dessert, we have all your local food bases covered in a delicious grouping of Ontario asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, and apples.

Ontario Strawberry and Blueberry Savoury Appetizers

It’s chilly outside, but your house is warm from the oven and filled with the mouth-watering scent of home cooked foods. Your family and friends arrive, cheeks red from the snow and ravenous from the drive – but don’t worry, you’re ready and waiting with two amazing appetizer options. The first is a Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa that pairs perfectly with your favourite cracker or some corn tortillas. It’s sweet and spicy flavours combine in a unique and tongue tingling way, and best of all you only need strawberries, Jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and lime.

If you think that your guests are amazed at your culinary prowess now, just wait until they see your Balsamic Blueberry Steak Crostinis. These delightful bite sized snacks are a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, and are completely customizable. This crostini recipe includes steak that’s as spiced as you want, your favourite soft cheese, a tangy green such as spinach or arugula, and an Ontario blueberry balsamic dressing. Not only does this dish make an impressive presentation and taste delicious, but the blueberries provide some amazing health benefits as well.

Ontario Apple and Asparagus Main Courses

Everyone has settled in by now, the wine and conversations are flowing and you’re ready to unveil the next dish – a winter chill-defying Asparagus, Spinach & Garlic Soup. This simple dish is made using only a few ingredients, but never fails to impress with it’s elegant presentation. You can add in milk or Ontario potatoes if you want to make it creamier or thicker, and the garlic in the recipe lends an extra savoury note to this humble but warming dish.

It’s time for the main event, and in a fresh twist on a classic dish you’ve prepared Oven Roasted Chicken with Apples & Grapes. The combination of meat and fruit will surprise not only your guests, but their taste buds as well. The addition of sweet Ontario apples and tart grapes brings out the natural flavours in your chicken and adds additional juiciness to the entire dish. This healthy and deceptively simple main course shows amazingly on your table and will definitely spark a conversation.

Nestled beside your chicken is the fantastically colourful Autumn Kale, Apple & Quinoa Salad that combines some of our favourite tasty superfoods. This salad looks complex but will only take you a couple minutes to prepare, and can be customized in a couple of ways to suit your taste. Barrie Hill Farms grows a variety of Ontario apples, all of which can be picked yourself from our fields. The Zestar! apple was chosen for this recipe because of its sweet-tart taste that can be compared to a Honey Crisp. It’s firm crisp flesh holds up very nicely if you want to make it ahead of time for dinner.

Local Strawberries for Holiday Desserts

Dinner is over and everyone is sated, smiling and nestled down by the fire to chat and laugh, but you’re not done yet! You have one last showstopper of a dish to finish out an amazing and delicious night: a Sugar-Free Strawberry topping. This super simple, three-ingredient dish is sugar free and can be eaten on its own or on top of any number of desserts. Pairs perfectly with a drink and some entertaining stories from the past.

Locally Grown Foods All Year Long

This is the time of year when we gather to celebrate the past 12 months, and what better way to do it than with local foods gathered from the fields in your neighbourhood. Here at Barrie Hill Farms we’re eagerly looking forward to spring, but until then are making use of our winter stores of fresh produce to create some delicious recipes for family and friends.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Honey Crisp Apple

These Goat Cheese Bruschetta appetisers are topped with honey crisp apples, pecans, and a drizzle of honey. This apple bruschetta recipe is a great twist to the classic tomato topping and a perfect starter to an elegant meal.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta topped with apples and pecans on a cutting board.

Apple Crostini

When you mix local apples with goat cheese, candied pecans, honey and pomegranate seeds, well, let’s just say the deliciousness factor is magnified by ten!

Lots of texture, sweetness and colour make up this goat cheese bruschetta recipe.  The little jewels of the pomegranate always add something special, don’t you think?  If you’re confused about how to open a pomegranate, check out YouTube but I must confess, I’m too impatient to do it with the water methods or cutting it into six chambers.

I simply score it around the middle, twist and open it up.  Flip each side upside down in a bowl and tap with a wooden spoon and your seeds will pop out.

A silver colander filled with fresh honey crisp apples.

Wash your apples very well and if they’re not organic, you’ll want to peel them.  I love Honey Crisp apples for this snack because of their sweetness but you can change it up if you want – just be sure to pick a sweet one.

Goat Cheese Crostini Appetizer

Bowls of the different toppings for goat cheese burschetta.

Topping this tasty little bite with thyme and a drizzle of honey will have you smacking your lips and reaching for a second..and a third!  Another way to keep this low on calories is to use whole wheat bread and regular pecans or your nut of choice.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Honey Crisp Apple

These tasty little goat cheese bruschetta appetizers are topped with tons of flavor and texture - apples, pomegranates, pecans and thyme. A drizzle of honey takes them over the top!
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason


  • 1 whole wheat baguetta cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large honey crisp apple sliced
  • 5 ounces goat cheese softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup pecans chopped (candied are great)
  • fresh thyme to garnish


  • If toasting the baguette, preheat oven 350 degrees.
  • Brush baguette slices with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly brown and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In your blender place goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream and honey. Blend on high until whipped and fluffy - about 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into a small bowl.
  • Place baguette slices on serving platter and spread whipped goat cheese mixture over each individual piece. Thinly slice the apple and place one or two pieces on each. Top with chopped pecans and pomegranate arils. Drizzle with honey and top with pecans and chopped thyme sprigs.


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Two goat cheese bruschetta topped with whipped goat cheese, apples and honey drizzled on top.

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Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.


More Apple Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Oven Roasted Chicken Breasts with Apples and Grapes

Autumn Kale Apple Quinoa Salad


When are Apples Available at Barrie Hills Farm?A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.