Thousands of wines at your fingertips

Search database of wine reviews
Read about wines BEFORE they hit the stores
Match wines with foods



A gift for the literate wine-lover in your life – who may be you. Tony's murder mystery novels, set in the world of wine, are now available at a discount – autographed.

Find out more...

Listen to Tony

Listen to Tony talk about wine on 680 NEWS radio on Fridays at 10:48 am, on Saturdays at 2:48 am and 9:48 am, and on Sundays at 12:48 am and 1:48 pm.
Tony Aspler
Wine Reviews
Food & Wine Match
Personal Wine Cellar
Pocket Wine Cellar
Gourmet Recipes
Wine Primer
More Tony Aspler
Tony's Books Tony's Books
Ontario Wine Awards
About Us About Us

E-mail Address or
Forget Password?


All about sparkling wine Port wine 101 Pairing food and wine Pairing wine and cheese What wine to serve with chocolate Why we like to visit wine country A wine tour of Italy Germany and German wines Wine touring France: Cognac and Bordeaux Wine touring France: Burgundy A tour of California wine country











More Gourmet Recipes  

Almost Endless Summer... (September 25, 2006)

Summer really stays with us for a few weeks after Labour Day, and while the holidays are over for many, it's not too late to enjoy the season's best fresh fruits and vegetables for a few more weeks. The fresher the better, and if you're lucky you just may have a weekly farmer's market somewhere close; we even have a couple in downtown Toronto!

Our friends at Foodland Ontario, the agricultural marketing program for Ontario grown fruits and vegetables put out the most delicious seasonal recipes, and we simply couldn't resist this batch highlighting corn, tomatoes and berries.

Foodland Ontario gave us four wonderful dishes complete with nutritional information and preparation time and we guarantee you'll enjoy them again and again.

Hey, keep summer going just a little longer!

On today's menu:

Download this article in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (76 KB)


Panzanella Wrap

In Ontario, over 1,200 farms produce field tomatoes and we can attest that our local, ripe and plump tomatoes shine in this "more please" recipe!

Panzanella is the Tuscan Bread Salad that was created to use up day-old bread. In this wrap, juicy tomatoes soak into the pita to create similar flavours; for a delicious Canadian twist, replace the olives with precooked bacon bits. The wrap is great for outdoor light meals; just peel back the paper as you eat it and don't forget to keep the napkins handy.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Standing time: 15 minutes (optional)
Serves 2

  • 2 Ontario field tomatoes, seeded
  • 2 Ontario green onions, sliced
  • 1 small clove Ontario garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced fresh basil leaves (about 8 leaves)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp (25 mL) sliced Kalamata black olives (optional)
  • 2×7-inch (18 cm) Greek-style pocketless pitas
  • Small basil leaves (optional)

Dice tomatoes to yield 1¾ cups (425 mL). In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, green onions, garlic, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; add olives, if using. If desired, let stand for 15 minutes for flavours to mingle. Warm pitas in microwave on High for 20 to 30 seconds or broil for 1 minute.

Place each pita on 10-inch (25 cm) piece of parchment paper or foil. Spoon ½ cup (125 mL) tomato mixture onto middle of each. Fold and roll pita snugly into cone, using paper to support and seal well at bottom. Stand in mug or glass. Spoon remaining filling into pitas. Garnish with basil, if desired. Serve immediately.


  • If tomato mixture is prepared up to 1 hour before serving or if tomatoes are soft, more juices will accumulate, so drain off excess before filling pitas.
  • Substitute low-carb whole wheat pitas (which are soft and pliable) for Greek pitas if you prefer less bread.

Nutritional information:
1 Serving:
PROTEIN: 7 grams
FAT: 8 grams

Tony's wine recommendation:
Ontario Sauvignon Blanc (Loire Sauvignon if you can't get Ontario Sauvignon Blanc) or if you prefer red, Ontario Gamay or Beaujolais.


Argentinian Garlic Chicken with Corn, Tomato and Parsley Sauce

Sweet corn is still in season in Ontario, where over 1,500 sweet corn growers can be found in the province's Southwest.

This dish is super all year round... but best really when local corn is combined with garden fresh tomatoes joining forces in a dish that pleases the eye as much as the palate! It's even good cold the next day – so plan for leftovers. For Chilean flavours, substitute cilantro for parsley; for Peruvian, use basil instead.

Time saving tip: Cook extra corn the day before and chill to use here.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped Ontario Sweet Onion (Spanish)
  • 8 cloves Ontario Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each hot pepper flakes and salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) olive oil
  • 3 Ontario field tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cobs cooked Ontario sweet corn (2 cups/500 mL kernels)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) each salt, pepper, dried oregano, ground cumin and garlic and onion powders
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Sauce: In food processor, combine parsley, onion, garlic, vinegar, oregano, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper; process until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add oil and process until well blended but with coarse texture. Pour into bowl. Stir in half the tomatoes. Cut corn from cobs; stir into bowl.

Chicken: Combine salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and garlic and onion powders; sprinkle about ½ tsp (2 mL) on each side of each chicken breast.

Lightly oil barbecue grill and heat to medium. Place chicken on grill; close lid and barbecue for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside. Serve with parsley sauce spooned over each one. Garnish with remaining tomatoes.

Nutritional information:
1 Serving:
PROTEIN: 32 grams
FAT: 25 grams

Tony's wine recommendation:
Chianti Classico, Ontario Pinot Noir or Valpolicella.


Southwest Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak

Foodland Ontario jazzes up your everyday Caesar with caramelized grilled Ontario corn, cilantro, jalapeño and tortilla chips – and pairs it with grilled meat, giving a new flavour twist to the classic salad.

Topped with chili-rubbed steak, it becomes a complete one-dish meal. Serve steak and corn warm or prepare ahead and serve cold, and try substituting chipotle hot pepper sauce for jalapeño to add a smoky flavour.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 13 to 20 minutes
Standing time: 5 to 10 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) light sour cream
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves Ontario garlic
  • 4 Ontario green onions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (or more to taste), seeded
  • ½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
  • 8 cups (2 L) torn Ontario romaine lettuce (about 1 head)
  • 1 Ontario greenhouse sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cobs Ontario sweet corn
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil
  • Tortilla or nacho chips (about 24)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) each ground cumin and coriander
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt, pepper and granulated sugar
  • 1 lb (500 g) ¾-inch (2 cm) thick top sirloin or other grilling steak

In blender, combine cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, Parmesan, garlic, onions, salt, anchovy (if using) and jalapeño; process until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add oil and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours. In sealed plastic bag, combine lettuce and red pepper; chill until serving time.

Steak: Mix chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and sugar; rub on both sides of steak. Lightly brush corn with oil. Lightly oil grill and heat to medium-high. Place corn on grill; close lid and cook, turning often, until slightly caramelized or blackened, 15 to 20 minutes. When corn has cooked for 8 to 10 minutes, add steak to grill. Cook, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare or until desired doneness. Remove steak and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Let corn cool enough to handle. With sharp knife, cut kernels from cobs.

In large bowl, toss together lettuce, red pepper, corn and enough dressing to coat well. Divide salad among 4 dinner plates. Slice steak into thin strips; arrange on salad.

Drizzle some dressing over steak. Garnish with chips.

Dip any remaining chips in dressing.

Tip: For faster cooking, cut raw corn kernels off cob. Spray or lightly oil heavy skillet. Cook corn over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly blackened, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional information:
1 Serving:
PROTEIN: 35 grams
FAT: 23 grams

Tony's wine recommendation:
A red wine with some sweetness but good acidity – Australian Shiraz, Chilean Merlot, Californian Zinfandel.


Mixed Berry Almond Crisp

End your summertime meal with this easy dessert, which brilliantly incorporates Ontario blueberries and raspberries and crumbled almond cookies. Highbush blueberries are grown in Southcentral, Southwestern and Southeastern Ontario, and raspberries are grown in most agricultural regions in the province, close to major markets.

Great news for Indian summer evenings – you can cook this dessert on the barbecue as well as the oven... so stay outdoors and enjoy the weather while the crisp crisps! Confession time: it's also great for breakfast or brunch. Serve over ice cream or frozen yogurt if desired. ...Yes, thank you; we desire!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 cups (500 mL) each Ontario blueberries and Ontario raspberries
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange rind
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) coarsely crumbled Amaretti* cookies or almond crunch cookies (about 4 oz/125 g)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sliced almonds
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon

In 9-inch (22 cm) square cake pan or 8-cup (2 L) shallow casserole dish, combine blueberries and raspberries. Mix sugar with orange rind; toss with berries.

In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs, almonds, butter and cinnamon; sprinkle over berries. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 8 minutes or until fruit is just warmed through and topping starts to brown. Serve warm.


  • To coarsely crush cookies, place in a paper or plastic bag and crush with rolling pin.
  • Recipe can be easily halved, but cook for the same time.
  • To cook on the barbecue, use a foil pan or line outside of metal pan with foil; bake, covered, on high just until fruit is warmed throughout, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Ever-bearing strawberries can be substituted for raspberries.

Variation: Substitute granola for cookie crumbs. Add ½ tsp (2 mL) almond extract to butter mixture.

Nutritional information:
1 Serving:
PROTEIN: 5 grams
FAT: 14 grams

* Amaretti cookies are an Italian almond-flavoured hard cookie available in specialized food and grocery stores.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Ontario Late Harvest Riesling, Mosel or Rheingau Riesling Auslese, Sauternes.

We wish to thank Foodland Ontario for permission to publish recipes and photographs. For more delicious seasonal ideas and information, please go to


Happily enjoyed by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download this article in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (76 KB)




More Gourmet Recipes