Food

The Ultimate Canada Day Potluck

Four food ideas for your Canada Day celebration.

Attending a Canada Day potluck this year and feeling stuck on what to bring? Perhaps you’ve been assigned appetizer duty and the last thing you want to do is make 50 fiddly skewered snacks, or maybe you’ve accidentally become the go-to buttertart bringer and you’re looking to branch out. Whether you’re planning an intimate Canada Day potluck or you’re celebrating with your entire extended family, this article has plenty of flexible, seasonal potluck ideas to inspire!

Make flatbreads for an easy appetizer everyone will love

Store-bought flatbreads are a fantastic way to create tasty appetizers quickly and they can be made with almost any ingredients you have handy (perfect for when you’ve forgotten to go grocery shopping but you still want to bring something homemade to the potluck). Naan, pita bread, roti, lavash, and even pre-made pizza crust all work well as a base and can be baked in the oven, in a cast iron skillet or on the grill (brush with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking if using the grill). Top the flatbread with in-season produce such as thinly sliced zucchini, fresh spinach or arugula, green onions, and sweet peas. Finish the flatbread with crumbled feta, burrata, cashew cream or fresh goat’s cheese; once the flatbread has been cooked use a pizza slicer to cut into small pieces, adding a generous sprinkle of fresh herbs before serving hot or at room-temperature. 

Throw together a fruity salsa

Make a fruity all-purpose salsa to accompany grilled fish, chicken, pork, and shrimp out of the many fruits in-season at the beginning of July. Fruits such as pitted and peeled apricots, diced strawberries, and pitted cherries can be combined with roughly chopped tomatoes, cucumber, diced jalapeño (depending on how spicy you like your salsa), and minced red or white onion. Toss the fresh ingredients with cilantro or basil, the juice of 1 lime and a generous pinch of kosher or sea salt. Allow the fruit salsa to sit for at 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Update your regular potato salad with roasted radishes

The end of June is the perfect time to find in-season radishes in a rainbow of different colours at your local grocery store or farmers market (or, if you’re lucky, your own backyard!). When radishes are roasted they become crispy on the outside and creamy towards the middle which means they’re a great swap for new potatoes the next time you’re making salad. To roast radishes whole, trim the woody stem area (keeping the roots) and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes, shaking once or twice throughout. Transfer the roasted radishes to a large salad bowl and add plenty of chopped fresh parsley and basil, lemon juice and a few more tablespoons of olive oil; taste and season with salt and pepper before serving at room temperature.

Use store-bought meringues to make easy maple-blueberry pavlovas

Use store-bought meringue nests to make a cheater maple-blueberry pavlova and remove any worries you might have about beating egg whites in super-humid weather. Combine freshly washed and dried whole blueberries with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (add a glug of cognac and some orange zest if desired). Using a fork, gently mash the blueberries into the maple syrup (aim to leave about half of the blueberries whole), let the mixture macerate for 30 minutes. Right before you’re ready to serve dessert arrange each meringue on a plate and top with a generous scoop of the maple-blueberry mixture. Finish the mini-pavlovas with a dollop of freshly whipped cream (add a drizzle of maple syrup to the cream as it’s being whipped for even bigger maple flavour).