Antigonish Farmers Market Produce Growers

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by Michael Dickson

I have a few thoughts that have popped into my head since my last blog and I was thinking this is a great chance for me to get them out there. It’s been a very rough June for the produce growers at the Antigonish Farmers Market due to the overwhelming amount of frost that they have had to deal with. It takes a ton of work to recover from the amount of damage that mother nature has dealt out to our farmers, which is why the Farmers of the market are the focus point for my blog post this week.

Why is it so important that we continue to support the farmers during this trying time? The question pretty much answers itself to be honest but here it is: The amount of money that is being lost due to these frosts is huge. It directly impacts the farmers ability to make a living, which of course directly impacts our community as we are losing out on the high quality fresh local foods that we love to eat! So make sure you get out to show your support to our local farmers at the Antigonish Farmers Market.

To this end, I would like to highlight the primary producers of the Market:

 

Casey’s Vegetables

Casey’s farm is a huge supporter of the Market, from being one of the most popular vendors that we have, Casey brings a wide variety of products to the market every year and Casey himself has been at the market for over 8 years, he is well known and he is a man of the people, so make sure to stop by the market and say hello to the team.

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Penner Family Farm

Leonard Penner and his family farm are a growing vendor at the market. They consistently bring a wide selection of fresh produce to the market and nothing seems to dampen the spirits of Leonard or his kids as they sell outside the market barn in the rain or sunshine! The dedication to the local lifestyle is unwavering and as a result the support for his farm and products is overwhelming.

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Overmars Gardens

You want to talk about a dedicated farmer, Michael is one of the biggest personalities that we have at the market. A commitment to freshness and quality is one of the reasons that his business is continuing to grow and will without a doubt continue to be a success story at our market.

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Lochaber Growers Cooperative

It’s very hard to talk about amazing personality without bringing Bonnie into the conversation. Bonnie is at the market representing the Lochaber Cooperative every weekend with a positive attitude, a great smile and a commitment to freshness, and serving our community. The Cooperative is made up of an amazing group of farmers that bring a little bit of everything to the market which results in a very impressive selection of great farm fresh foods.

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Forever Green Farms

It is impossible to discuss producers at the market without including the Forever Green Farm. They are one of the largest producers that the market has. With a massive selection of meats and vegetables, which continue to make them one of the most popular vendors that we have at the Market. They cook at the market every weekend and the smell of their farm fresh foods cooking on the grill is enough to make anyone hungry! Well worth stopping by to say hello to and pick up some delicious farm fresh food.

Forever Green farm country parent

 

Seabright Gardens

Seabright Gardens brings a commitment to local first to a whole new level. They care about the environment and as a result of their passion, it translates out to incredibly fresh, high quality, delicious farm fresh foods. A chance to stop by and say hello and check out their amazing selection is well worth it.

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The Bethany Growers

They are all about local, high quality, fresh, delicious produce. The produce that they bring to the market is some of the most popular that comes through the doors. They have great knowledge of their produce and know how to grow it to ensure the highest quality. Well worth stopping by and seeing what they have to offer each week as the growing season comes into full swing.

the bethany growers country parent

 

Well folks that’s all I have for this blog post! I would like to thank everyone that comes out to support the market, and our vendors. Feel free to stop by our website www.antigonishfarmersmarket.ca and see all of our vendors, latest news and how we are making out on fundraising for our new Barn! Remember we can be found on Facebook at Antigonish Farmers Market Association and on Instagram @Antigonishfarmersmarket. As always if you have any questions, concerns or general comments do not hesitate to reach out to me at Manager@Antigonishfarmersmarket.ca or by calling (902)867-7479.

 

Mike Dickson Antigonish

Michael Dickson, Antigonish Farmers Market Manager

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Antigonish Farmers Market New Building

vegetables antigonish farmers market

by Michael Dickson

Hello Everyone! If you haven’t heard yet the Antigonish Farmers Market is growing and we need your help. We currently have $211,572.15 of our goal of $700,000. We recently held a very successful Gala fundraiser which consisted of amazing food donated by our very generous vendors, entertainment of the highest quality from local musicians with unrivaled passion for performing and of course the community that came out to show support to the Farmers Market and the local businesses that they love so much!

 

The support from the community has meant the world to the Board members of the Antigonish Farmers Market and to the vendors who’s business has continued to grow. We are so excited with how the fundraising is going and are inspired to work even harder to make this new building become a reality for everyone. We are also working on something very exciting for when the Special Olympics make their way to Antigonish.

 

Why is this new building such an important project for the community?

The amount of customers that the market has seen this year has grown so much over previous years that in order to effectively serve the consumers we need to expand! We need:

♦ More space for new and exciting vendors to serve the customer base that has been constantly growing

♦ A year-round Market for everyone and a second market day during the week to support the amount of people that we have coming into the market!

 

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Michael Overmars, Overmars Garden

 

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Mac Brown, The Martha’s New Garden

 

♦ To remain the hub for healthy eating and to support local producers which will benefit not only the overall health and wellness of the community, but will help the Market to serve as an incubator for more small businesses. This will in turn encourage the development of more small farms, local artisans and food vendors to provide the community with products of the highest quality.

 

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Angela Bowles, Food Matters Catering

 

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Wild Flour Bakery

 

♦ A provincially inspected, commercial kitchen available for a broad-based community usage to help support projects outside of the market. And of course with adding all of these positive things together, the economical impact this new building will bring is going to be massive.

 

With additional focus being put on the economy, it is now important more than ever to support home. With a growing number of people leaving, we need to do more to encourage people to stay here in our humble community of Antigonish, and being the number one Farmers Market in Nova Scotia is one of the best ways to not only create more local jobs to support people living in our community, but we will also continue to support a healthier lifestyle for everyone!

 

antigonish farmers market produce

Seabright Gardens

 

How can you donate to make this building a reality?

 

♦ You can click on this image:

antigonish farmers market

♦ Or go to www.antigonishfarmersmarket.ca, then click on the Donate tab at the top of the page.

♦ You can donate in person at our Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:30 to 1pm.

♦ You can also contact the market manager Michael Dickson by email at manager@antigonishfarmersmarket.ca or call at 902.867.7479.

antigonish farmers market new building

Show your support, Like us on Facebook at Antigonish Farmers Market Association and Instagram @Antigonishfarmersmarket

 

Thanks again everyone for supporting your local Antigonish Farmers Market!

Mike Dickson Antigonish

Michael Dickson, Antigonish Farmers Market Manager

Salmon and Haddock Fish Cakes

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This is a wonderful weekend recipe that can be made with fresh or leftover fish in no time. A delicious alternative to crab cakes for those who suffer from seafood allergies.

 

 

 

Ingredients

♦ 1 cup smoked salmon
I like using pepper smoked Atlantic salmon

♦ 1 cup cooked haddock
(bought fresh-frozen and boiled for 5 minutes, or leftover cooked haddock)

♦ 1 cup breadcrumbs

♦ 2 eggs

♦ 1/4 cup chopped green onions

♦ 4 tbsp vegetable oil or margarine

 

fish cakes 11

 

Instructions

In a bowl, flake the fish with a fork (or fingers)

Add breadcrumbs, eggs and onions

Mix well together

Form small fish patties in the palm of your hand

Heat oil or melt butter in a frying pan

Fry fish cakes on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown

Remove from heat and place on paper towel to drain excess oil

Serve with creamy tartar sauce

 

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fish cakes 3

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fish cakes 11

fish cakes 12

Enjoy!

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salmon and haddock fish cakes pin

Beeswax Wraps

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Recently, I came across reusable beeswax wraps at the Antigonish Winter Market. Sandra Swinkels, the owner of Swinkels Bee Products, started making them as a natural alternative to plastic wrap.

I was thrilled to find them locally and was looking forward to trying them out. So, in case you were wondering…

 

 

What are they made of?

The wraps are made out of 100% organic cotton infused with beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. All three substances are known to be natural preservatives and have antibacterial properties. The combination of the cotton fabric and the above ingredients result in a breathable storage solution.

beeswax wrap ingredients

 

How big are the wraps?

The general use wraps come in two sizes: 8″ x 8″ and 11″ x 11″. The sandwich wraps measure 14″ x 14″ unfolded and 5″ x7″ folded.

 

How do you use them?

The wraps can be used to cover bowls, jars, plates, etc. They are very malleable and simply require the warmth of your hands to adhere to the rim of containers.

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They are very versatile too. You can turn them into snack bags by moulding them into a desired shape or simply use them to wrap leftover bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and more.

beeswax wrap bread

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beeswax wrap pepper

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How well do they work?

I compared the two methods of food storage by wrapping two halves of an avocado, one with cling wrap and the other one with beeswax wrap.

beeswax wrap avocado

Cling wrap vs Beeswax wrap

 

Twenty four hours later…

beeswax wrap avocado 2

Not bad, eh?

 

As for the sandwich wraps, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first… I wasn’t sure if my sandwich would remain fresh until the next day, but it did!

An added bonus was the sweet aroma of beeswax. A little aromatherapy during lunch break is always a good thing!

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What about care and storage?

The wrappers come with a sheet of instructions for use & care. It’s recommended to wash them with cool water and mild dish soap, otherwise the beeswax and resin might lose their adherence. And, since they cannot be cleaned with hot water, they should not to be used for storing meat.

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The large wrap can be stored flat, folded or rolled. I like to roll mine up and place it in a drawer to minimize storage space. The sandwich wrap can easily be stored as is.

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How much do they cost?

The small wraps cost $7.00, the larger ones cost $9.00 and the sandwich wraps, $12.00. They are reusable and can last up to a year, so it’s well worth the investment.

And, although I love the bumble bee print, there are many other beautiful and colourful prints to choose from. Here are just a few:

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You can find Sandra and her line of Swinkels Bee Products, including the beeswax wraps, every Saturday at the Antigonish Winter Market or you can purchase her products online.

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Eco-friendly  Sustainable  Reusable  Biodegradable

 

Food for thought…

If you use 1 sqft of plastic wrap for one sandwich per day, then this adds up to 260 sqft per year. For a family of 4, this number translates to 1040 sqft per year. Now say you were to switch to beeswax wraps only twice per week, this automatically cuts down your plastic wrap usage by at least 40%! Not bad, considering film plastics (which include plastic wraps) have such a negative impact on the environment and, now more then ever, we are strongly encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic we use; think of the recent plastic bags ban implemented in Montreal and possibly in Nova Scotia in the near future.

So, if you use plastic wrap daily for your sandwiches and snacks, why not try using beeswax wraps instead? Even once a week can make a huge difference!

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Halloween Brownie Critters

halloween brownie critters

 

If you are looking for last minute ideas for fun treats that your kids can make, check out these Halloween brownie critters. They are adorable and easy to prepare.

 

 

 

Here’s how you can make them too.

 

You will need:

◊ Small round brownies (I used the PC Blue Menu Two-bite mini brownies)

◊ Flat cookies (I chose the Dare dipped cookies. The detailed lines resemble bat wing fingers).

◊ Pretzels

◊ Candy eyeballs

◊ Icing

halloween brownie critters 1

 

For the six-legged spiders

 

Gently break off the rounded parts of 3 pretzels

Insert 3 pretzel pieces on each side of the brownie.

Add icing on the back of the candy eyeballs and glue them on to the brownie

halloween brownie critters

halloween brownie critters

halloween brownie critters

For the brownie bats

Carefully break one cookie in half

Insert each half on both sides of the brownie

Add icing on the back of the candy eyeballs and glue them on to the brownie

Draw fangs on the bat’s face, using the icing

halloween brownie critters

halloween brownie critters

Halloween brownie creepers

 

Use peanut-free brownies and cookies to include these cute treats in school lunches.

 

Halloween brownie critters

halloween brownie critters

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Brownie Critters pin

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Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy

 

Homemade Halloween Chocolate Candy

Halloween chocolate candy

Celebrate Halloween this year by making your own spooky chocolate candy.

A simple way to do this is to use Halloween themed silicone ice trays as chocolate moulds.

The recipe for these melt-in-your-mouth treats requires only two ingredients: chocolate and sweetened condensed milk! All other add-ins are optional.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials

◊ Halloween themed ice trays (I found these ice trays at the Superstore for $2.00!)

◊ Parchment paper (or wax paper)

chocolate molds 1

Ingredients

◊ 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips)

◊ 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

◊ 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

◊ 1 can sweetened condensed milk

◊ White icing (for decoration, optional)

◊ 1/4 cup red glace cherries, a.k.a candied cherries (optional)

 

Instructions

To make plain chocolates, prepare the semi-sweet chocolate chip mixture. For the marble chocolates, prepare two separate mixtures of your choice.

 

For the semi-sweet chocolate mixture

♦ In a medium glass bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1/2 cup condensed milk.

♦ Microwave for 30-45 seconds, until bubbly.

♦ Mix with a spoon. Place bowl or measuring in a bowl containing hot water, in order to prevent the mixture from hardening.

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For the butterscotch mixture

In a small glass bowl, combine the butterscotch chips with 1/4 cup condensed milk.

Microwave for 20-30 seconds, until bubbly.

Mix with a spoon. Place container in a bowl half-full of hot water, in order to prevent the mixture from hardening.

 

For the white chocolate mixture

In a small glass bowl, combine the white chocolate chips with 1/4 cup condensed milk.

Microwave for 20-30 seconds, until bubbly.

Mix with a spoon. Place container in a bowl half-full of hot water, in order to prevent the mixture from hardening.

 

Making the marble chocolate pumpkin candy (with cherries)

♦ Spray a thin layer of cooking spray inside each mold to prevent the chocolate from sticking to the silicone.

♦ Add a small amount of white chocolate mixture in the bottom of the mould.

halloween chocolate candy

♦ Add a bit of semi-sweet chocolate mixture on top

♦ Insert the cherries

Halloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candy

♦ Add a dollop of the chocolate mixture on top to cover the cherries.

halloween chocolate candy

♦ Place a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper) over top and press down firmly to allow for the mixture to penetrate the creases of the mould shape at the very bottom.

 

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♦ Slide the back of a butter knife over the parchment paper to remove any remaining bubbles at the top of the mould.

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♦ Slowly remove the parchment paper.

♦ Carefully remove overflowing mixture from the sides.

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Halloween chocolate candy

♦ Place in refrigerator.

♦ Let set for 3 hours or overnight.

♦ Gently pop the chocolates out of the mould.

Halloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candyhalloween chocolate candy with cherries

Making the spiders & spider web chocolate candy

Using the same technique as shown above, fill the web candies.

Add a bit of butterscotch in the spider moulds to highlight the insect.

Halloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candyHalloween chocolate candy

For an added touch, decorate the chocolates with icing, by tracing some of the details of the candy, as shown here with the spider webs.

Halloween chocolate candy

halloween chocolate candy

 

Halloween chocolate candy Halloween chocolate candy

Hope you have fun making similar Halloween treats 🙂

Homemade Halloween Candy pin

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (no roasting or baking required)

butternut squash soup 3

I’ve been always intimidated by butternut squashes. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up eating them or maybe it’s because whenever someone talked about using them in a recipe it involved long periods of roasting or baking. Either way, deciding to buy one and start a new tradition at our house was a Fall time goal.

So we purchased a butternut squash and thought that the easiest thing to do would be to make a simple squash soup that didn’t require any roasting or baking.

Here’s how:

Ingredients

◊ 1 butternut squash

◊ 2 tbsp salted butter

◊ 1 medium onion, chopped

◊ 2 cups chicken broth

◊ 1/2 cup heavy cream

◊ 1/4 tsp nutmeg

◊ 1/4 tsp cumin

◊ salt & pepper to taste

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Instructions

♦ Melt butter in a medium sized pot

♦ Add chopped onion

♦ Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, until translucent

Meanwhile,

♦ Cut the squash into two

♦ Remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon
Side note: Don’t throw away the seeds. Save them for later.

♦ Peel the squash using a vegetable peeler

♦ Cut the squash into 1/2 inch cubes

butternut squash cubes

♦ Add the squash cubes into the pot

♦ Cover with the chicken broth

♦ Add the spices

♦ Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender

♦ Puree the soup using a hand blender

♦ Blend in the cream

Done!

Serve plain or top with croutons.

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You can also freeze the soup! Simply omit the cream, store and freeze in containers. Add the cream before serving, once the soup is re-heated.

butternut squash soup

A little snack while waiting for the soup to cook…

Squash seeds are very nutritious (full of vitamin A and C), so instead of throwing them out why not have them as a healthy snack? Simply season and roast.

Spicy Butternut Squash Seeds

Remove the squash flesh from the seeds collected earlier.

In a bowl, add:

◊ squash seeds

◊ 1 tbsp of olive oil

◊ pinch of salt

◊ pinch of cayenne pepper

◊ pinch of paprika

◊ pinch of garlic powder

◊ pinch of onion powder

After seasoning the seeds, scatter them on a non-stick pan.

Roast the seeds under the broiler for 4-6 minutes, flipping them over once after 2-3 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup pin

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Easy Buttermilk Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs skewers

 

This blog post is part of a local Maritime bloggers blog hop!

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve teamed up to bring you a series of creative Thanksgiving turkey posts including fun crafts and food recipes.

Thanksgiving turkey activities for kids blog hop promo image

Let’s start with the turkey meatballs…

It’s always fun to switch things up a bit and re-vamp old family recipes.

These melt-in-your-mouth meatballs are delicious and can be served alone, as a side dish or simply enjoyed as a snack.

The secret is adding buttermilk to the recipe. This simple step makes the meatballs ever so tender and kids love them!

Ingredients

450g ground turkey

2 cups breadcrumbs (1 cup for the mixture and 1 cup to coat the meatballs)

1 egg

1/2 can chickpeas, ground in food processor to form a paste (optional)

1/2 cup buttermilk
(side note: because buttermilk is expensive, I substitute with 1/2 milk and 1 tsp white vinegar)

1/4 tsp of ground allspice
(or substitute with a dash of each of the following ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

3 tbsp of vegetable oil

1 cup of chicken broth

 

Instructions

Mix ground turkey, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, egg, buttermilk and spices in a bowl.

I like incorporating extra protein in our meals, which is why I add the chickpea paste in the mixture… great trick for picky eaters too 🙂

turkey meatball mixture

Form small round balls.

Coat each meatball with breadcrumbs, on a plate.

turkey meatballs with breadcrumbs

In a frying pan, heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil.

Reduce to medium heat.

Add meatballs and cook for 3 minutes, then rotate to cook them on the other side for another 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth to the pan.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until most of the broth has been absorbed by the meatballs.

turkey meatballs in broth

Remove from heat.

Let cool and serve as desired. You can also freeze the meatballs at this point and eat them at a later time.

turkey meatballs

I like placing the meatballs on skewers with cheese and veggies as a quick after school snack.

turkey meatballs skewers

Hope you and your kids enjoy this recipe too!

 

And make sure to scroll down below and check out the rest of these wonderful Thanksgiving turkey activities for kids.

Easy Buttermilk Turkey Meatballs

No-Frills Apple Pie

apple pie prep

 

Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked apple pie in the fall. The sweet aroma of fresh apples and cinnamon is just the right combination of comfort food for the soul.

Here is a quick and easy apple pie recipe you can try this fall.

And it only takes 10 minutes to prepare!

 

If your lucky enough to have apple trees in your back yard or an orchard near by, this is the perfect time to go apple picking.

And whether hand-picked or store bought, any type of apples can be used for this simple recipe.

apple tree red apples

Ingredients

Store-bought pie crust (or homemade, if you have the time)

7 medium sized apples, cored, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp allspice (or substitute with a 1/3 tbsp of each of the following ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)

1 tbsp raw sugar (optional)

apple pie prep

Instructions

Preheat oven to 385°F.

Mix apple slices, granulated sugar and spices in a bowl

apples and spices

Place first pie crust on bottom of pie pan

Add mixture on top

apple pie prep

Place second pie crust over top

Make 4 slits on pie crust top

Sprinkle with the raw sugar

apple pie raw

Bake for 30 minutes

Enjoy plain or with ice cream!

apple pie slice

apple pie bite

apple tree No-Frills Apple Pie

Reg_ signature

Easy Summer Flatbread Pizza

flatbread pizza

 

Summer BBQing is one of our favorite things to do. This recipe is a fresh take on traditional pizza using store bought flatbread and garden herbs.

It’s simple to make and you can put your own spin on it.

 

 

Ingredients

1 PC original flat bread

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 diced tomato

1/4 cup sliced olives

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano, thyme, parsley, mint and basil)

 

Instructions

Brush the flatbread with the olive oil on both sides

flatbread with oil

Place flatbread upside-down on BBQ and cook for 2 minutes

Flip it over

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Add tomatoes, feta, olives and herbs on top

herbs

BBQ for another 2 minutes

Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.

Voilà!

toppingscloseup flatbread pizza

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Enjoy!

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