On a beautiful, clear and warm Sunday, what could be lovelier than a ferry trip to the Toronto Islands for a picnic brunch with some friends? I know, we’ve been having an awful lot of picnics lately, but what is one to do when the weather has been treating us so beautifully and we want nothing more than to be outside somewhere green. The Island is the perfect place for some reclining under a tree. You don’t hear any traffic, it being a car free zone (with the exception of the odd City of Toronto vehicle) and the breeze off the lake, along with the rich vegetation, keeps the air smelling sweet and fresh and truly good. It’s a good place to take your bicycle or rollerblades and do some sweating before a yummy picnic. We found a good spot under a shady willow and had a meal of pain au chocolat, bagels and cream cheese, coffee and apricot and Stilton cups I’d baked the night before. I’ll post the recipe for that at a later stage.
After all that nibbling and snacking through the day, added to some running around and plenty of sun, a good, solid meal was called for to end a great Summer weekend. Mr P and I hit the kitchen together and in record time we whipped up a dinner for two of butterflied pork, apple and onion chutney, baby potatoes roasted with baby red onions, lemon, rosemary and olive oil and a fresh garden salad. Mr P is one of those people who doesn’t like the sweetness of a plain apple sauce with his pork, so I thought this chutney, based on the cherry and rhubarb one from the duck a couple of days ago, would add be an interesting compliment with it’s slightly spicy, aromatic sweetness.
Apple and Onion Chutney
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground sage
½ tsp ground cinnamon
big pinch salt
1 Tbsp veg oil (I use Canola)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large white onion (I used Spanish) chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch pieces
– Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix
– Heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they start popping. Allow to pop for a few seconds, then add garlic. Don’t let the garlic brown or it becomes bitter. Remove from heat and cool slightly
– Add sugar, vinegars and syrup and heat gently until sugar dissolves.
– Add apple and onion and increase heat to simmer. Cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens, about 25 – 30 mins.