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.

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

This Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb is sure to become a summer favorite! This easy strawberry lemonade recipe features farm fresh fruit for tons of sweet tart flavor.

An up close image of two glasses of easy strawberry lemonade.

Easy Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry rhubarb pie is so popular that it occurred to me that everyone would love strawberry rhubarb lemonade too – and I was right!  The taste test was a big success with friends and family so I definitely wanted to share this for the holiday weekend.

When I cook strawberries it takes me back to my childhood and the annual summer fairs because they taste and smell like cotton candy.  When you add the rhubarb you get that unique sweet-citrusy-sour flavor that seems to have captured the taste buds of so many.   The ice cream/frozen yogurt sauce I made with these ingredients was a big hit with family and friends and it makes a wonderful hostess gift for your summer parties.  Best of all, it takes less than 15 minutes to make!

Boxes of strawberries being carried on a tractor at the farm.

I used fresh picked berries from Barrie Hill Farms for this refreshing lemonade.  They had their annual Strawberry Festival last weekend so these little gems went straight from the field into my kitchen.   So much fun and SO many people!  They had entertainment, clowns, face painting and wagon rides to the fields to pick your own.

A family enjoying a sunny weekend at the farm picking strawberries.

This happy family is going to enjoy all of their strawberries.  I bet they’re making jam too!  Canadians tend to create stampedes to their local farms when we finally get to the warmer months because we’re starved for fresh produce!

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

This Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb is sure to become a summer favorite! Make a double batch to serve at a summer gathering -- you won't be bringing any home. If you'd like to use regular sugar instead of agave & honey, use 6 tablespoons of plain white sugar and omit the other sweeteners.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason


  • 1/2 cup lemon juice about 3 large lemons
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rhubarb diced
  • 1 cup strawberries quartered
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • ice
  • 1/2 cup strawberries sliced thinly, to garnish
  • handful of fresh mint to garnish


  • Squeeze fresh lemons and place juice into large pitcher.
  • Place water, rhubarb, strawberries, agave and honey into medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer on medium for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. If you want to speed up the process, place in a stainless steel bowl and put in freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and place mixture in a fine sieve over a bowl pressing to squeeze all liquid from it. Discard solids and add liquids to pitcher with ice and sliced berries. Serve with a fresh mint garnish.


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 48.4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade shown in two glasses with straws.

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


More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Berry French Toast Casserole


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

Garlic Crostini with Asparagus And Ricotta Cheese

This delicious Garlic Crostini with Asparagus and Ricotta Cheese is the perfect spring or summer appetizer. Serve this ricotta bruschetta with a glass of wine for the perfect light meal. 

Two slices of Garlic Crostini topped with ricotta, asparagus and radishes.

Farm Fresh Asparagus

I was at Barrie Hill Farms last weekend  where I picked up some blueberries for one of my upcoming recipes and I snapped a few pics of the beautiful produce in their store.  Each time I go to the market I am amazed at all the fresh fruits and vegetables, the unique sauces, syrups, pickles, fresh cut flowers – it’s heaven! The summer produce is so good for us and eating locally grown foods definitely makes a big difference in flavour, in my opinion.

You’re not going to find this kind of gorgeous produce in the big supermarkets! It’s almost asparagus season, maybe one of my favorites at Barrie Hills Farm, and this recipe is a great use.

This is a quick and easy appetizer that requires no cooking except for toasting the bread.   I went with some  decadent Italian bread and I have to admit it was yummy.  I’ve made some summer meatball subs for a future post and I promise a healthier bread for that one.

This recipe comes from Canadian Living with a few changes.  They blanched the asparagus but I didn’t cook it at all.  I used my potato peeler to remove the skin to get rid of that woody flavour and then cut it into small pieces.  I prefer the crispy freshness of it raw.  Delicious!

Asparagus, Garlic and Ricotta Crostini

An overhead view of 3 slices of ricotta bruschetta.

This easy recipe for a ricotta crostini might also be called ricotta bruschetta – after all, does it matter what you call it if it’s delicious and covered with farm fresh produce?

Garlic Crostini with Asparagus And Ricotta Cheese

This easy garlic crostini is topped with farm fresh asparagus and ricotta cheese. Some might call this garlic bruschetta - but who cares what it's called as long as it's topped with delicious farm fresh produce?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason @ Simply Fresh Dinners


  • 15 slices baguette thick
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cloved garlic halved
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon chives freshly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • black pepper freshly ground, to taste


  • On baking sheet, drizzle baguette slices with oil; bake in 400ºF oven until crispy and light golden, about 6 minutes. Turn halfway through if you want both sides browned. Rub tops with cut sides of garlic halves. Set aside.
  • Combine ricotta, chives, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice,and the pepper; set aside. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead)
  • Toss together asparagus, radishes, and remaining lemon juice. Top crostini with ricotta mixture, then asparagus mixture.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 767mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Three slices of ricotta crostini shows from overhead topped with radishes.

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!


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


More Asparagus Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Asparagus Soup Recipe

Asparagus Salsa


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