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A dish to help us mark the first anniversary of The Culinary Studio

This week we celebrate our first anniversary in business together at The Culinary Studio. If you haven’t had a chance to come see us at our Belmont location in Kitchener, here’s a little bit of what we’re about: we are a recreational cooking school, looking to teach people of all ages and gender how to cook from scratch using good quality and, whenever possible, local ingredients. Whether you are a seasoned cook in the kitchen, or just starting out, there is something for everyone.
Over the past year we have discovered what people want to learn most to improve their everyday lives in the kitchen. Our popular Monday night cooking series teaches everything from proper knife skills to homemade stocks to finishing sauces. For those more adventurous, our international classes ranging from Indian cuisine to sushi night are very popular.

Both of us, Jody and Kirstie, spent many years in both the restaurant industry as well as teaching the culinary arts at both the high school and college level. We wanted an inviting space for like-minded people to come together and share their passion for great cuisine. Our philosophy is simple: great food kept simple, by using the best quality local ingredients and time-honoured cooking techniques.

For this weekend’s column it was really tough to narrow down a recipe to help us celebrate our anniversary. So we took a look back as to what we were cooking a year ago. Here is one of our first recipes taught at The Culinary Studio. It uses proper knife techniques, proper sauté techniques and isn’t afraid to get creative using different veggies and local cheeses.  Pre-heat oven to 425°F; place baguette slices on a baking tray and toast until just golden brown;

Warm Vegetable and Herb Crostini with Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced on the bias
  • 1 good clove of garlic, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp+2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 celery, julienned
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1 pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)
  • 1-2 tsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of crumbled or shaved sheep’s milk cheese, such as Toscana

remove and, while still hot, take cut side of garlic and scrape on bread; chop the rest of the garlic clove to sauté with vegetables;
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add all vegetables and sauté over high heat for about 4 minutes, or until soft. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 1 more minute; season with salt and pepper and add chopped herbs and cook just to warm through; Remove from heat, stir in sherry wine vinegar;

Using tongs, top bread slices with about 2 tbsp of the vegetables; top with cheese, place on a platter and drizzle with remaining extra virgin olive oil. Add some more freshly cracked black pepper here too, if you like.

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