The GOODS from Granville Island
Vancouver, BC | Longer, lighter days make summer the easiest time of year to be spontaneous about getting together to share a meal with friends. We recommend claiming a small piece of shade at your local park or grabbing a blanket and heading to the beach. Food doesn’t need to complicate the plan. One trip to Granville Island Public Market and you’re set.
Not only does the market make party and picnic planning easy by offering the freshest hauls from the land and sea in one central location, but you can also access a series of short, ingredient-driven videos to help you with everything from inspiration and grocery list-building to tricks and techniques for preparing food that takes advantage of the bounty available in any given season. In the case of summer, the primary objective is to maximize time outside with friends, right? The Foodeo website has some pointers on how to get there with some tasty food, and without the fuss.
Let’s start with Oysters. Oysters need to be kept cool, but beyond that, they are a pretty low maintenance treat. Not only do they come in their own serving dish (eliminating the need for plates or utensils) but they also taste like the sea and that hit of salt is the perfect start a west coast alfresco experience. The only thing standing between you and the satisfying slurp of an oyster is getting in to that shell.
Not sure how to negotiate your way in? Check the “Expert Tips” section of the latest round-up of Foodeo videos. Longliner Seafood shellfish aficionado Dave, breaks the task down for you in his 44 second “How to Shuck an Oyster” video tutorial. With your knife, dishtowel and freshly bought oysters at hand, and your video settings on automatic replay, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Feeling confident? Want to take your oyster game up a notch? Foodeo’s also got a refreshing recipe for Cucumber-Lime Granita that pairs perfectly with the bivalves. This recipe calls for a classic combination of salt, citrus and a touch of heat (jalapeño and julienned radish bring a bit of a kick). This cool and zesty recipe takes a few hours to prepare, but, in keeping with our theme of ‘relaxed summer vibe’, all you need are a handful of inexpensive everyday ingredients, a fork, a shallow vessel, a blender and some patience (most of the prep time is actually downtime spent waiting for your granita to freeze).
Learning to shuck was pretty cool, right? Add to your growing culinary skill dossier by watching the Foodeo Fresh Herb Basting Brush tutorial. Hosan from Four Seasons Farm walks you through a DIY herb brush as a clever and effective way to easily add flavour and flair to outdoor grilling. All that’s required here is a bit of string, a wooden spoon and a handful of assorted herbs from any Granville Island Public Market produce stall. Bonus: this veritable culinary magic wand has endless flavour options, depending on your mood and what’s on the menu. Making a herb brush is an easy addition to anyone’s grilling tool kit.
We don’t need to tell you that a charcuterie board is a crowd pleaser any time of year and, if you’re a seasoned host, then you’ve probably already got this in your repertoire. But, like the (above mentioned) herb brush, a charcuterie board can take on a new profile every time you reload. Let go of your regular charcuterie tricks, summer is the perfect time to expand your horizons.
The key to new grazing board style is the proper guidance. Hand yourself over to the Market’s cheese, meat, and accoutrement experts for their suggestions. Jérôme and his knowledgeable cohorts at Oyama Sausage Co. can make sure that your spread includes something sweet, salty, spicy and aromatic. Then pay a visit to cheese enthusiast and expert Andrew (or one of his equally knowledgeable colleagues) at the Benton Brothers Fine Cheese kiosk. Benton Brothers will hook you up with some stellar artisan cheeses that vary in texture and taste – creamy, crumbly and hard; full-bodied, floral and sharp to nutty and subtle in flavour. Add some pickled veggies, mustards and fresh bread to the line-up and you are set.
Pro tip: If you haven’t already got a quality charcuterie board, now is the time to invest! Zip across the street to the Net Loft’s one-stop kitchen staples shop, The Market Kitchen Store, to get yourself equipped with a fine handcrafted piece of wood to pile your pickings on proudly. Presentation is critical!
Of course, nothing tastes better or fresher this time of year than “ripe from the earth” produce. A good, raw spring salad can be so much more than just a side dish and when produce is this fresh, it requires the absolute minimum amount of effort or dressing – forget your old “slaw” connotations of mayonnaise drenched bucket grocery store slop! There are only two steps to Foodeo’s Four-Pea Spring Slaw recipe and, once you’ve got the dressing whisked and the veggies chopped, the individual components will hold up for four hours prior to serving.
More veggies? How about an easy heirloom tomato tart? Seriously, one watch of Foodeo’s 1.5 minute tutorial on how to make this tart and you’ll be able to pull it off.
All you need now are drinks and dessert. Lemonade is an obvious choice, but should you want to make it next-level lemonade (without next-level effort), slip into South China Seas Trading Co. to pick up some Butterfly Pea Flowers. Steep these pretty little pals in some hot water for a minute or two, let the water cool in the fridge. As the flowers steep they turn the water a stunning colour of blue. Add them to your lemonade for a subtle upgrade and a not-so-subtle bang of colour. Or, try your hand at making this Watermelon Margarita with black-salted rim (pictured at top). It’s easy and oh-so-refreshing, just perfect for summer entertaining!