Canadian Ploughman’s Board

My absolute favourite appetizer to eat (and make) is a large board filled with cured and cooked meats, cheeses, pickles, bread, etc. It seems that I am not the only one in love with this interactive, DIY-style appetizer, because so many cuisines have their own version. While the English call it a ploughman’s board, the Italians swear by their antipasto, and the French insist on charcuterie. Call it what you may, I think we can all agree that this concept of a large board featuring a variety (a Smörgåsbord if you will) of delicious savoury treats for passersby to nibble at and create their own mini sandwiches is a hell of an easy and genius entertaining idea.

I cannot host a party without a version of this crowd-pleasing board, and my Canada Day party is no exception! To purchase my ingredients for the board, I stopped in at the St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto with my boyfriend Rob and my sister Katie. This is a fairly common Saturday morning activity for us. Rob loves his back bacon sandwich, while Katie and I love to peruse the shops and admire the latest cooking equipment on display.

After picking up my favourite assortment of pickles, olives, cheese and cured meats for my board,  we obviously made sure to stop by Kozlik’s mustard stand for our share of the free samples of Canadian back bacon smothered in your choice of a range of mustards. As we chowed down, it dawned on us: what better way to make our “ploughman’s board” Canadian than to literally serve up some crispy back bacon with different grainy mustards. Yum.

So that’s it. This dish is simple, elegant, and so very Canadian. Serve the back bacon alongside your favourite Canadian mustard (I chose Kozlik’s extra grainy), Canadian cheese (I opted for a sharp cheddar and a super soft goat’s milk brie), and then a variety of colourful pickles and olives. I also included lightly grilled baguette (about 1 minute per side on the grill) and some nuts for snacking and a bit of crunch. This is one of the easiest but most popular appetizers ever, and really a must for any great party! Get creative and add your own ingredients to fit the theme of any party, and enjoy!

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Canadian Back Bacon With Mustard

Inspired by my trips to the St. Lawrence Market, this is the simplest concept for an appetizer, but the crowd can't get enough! Simply cook up some big chunks of Canadian back bacon and serve alongside your favourite mustards and spreads. To jazz up this appetizer, serve with grilled pieces of baguette, pickles, and cheeses of your liking. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Ib Canadian back bacon (peameal bacon)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Grainy mustdard

Instructions

  1. Preheat pan to medium-high heat and add the olive oil. 

  2. Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch cubes and add to pan. Let cook in the pan until starting to brown and caramelize, about 10 minutes. 

  3. Serve the bacon with toothpicks and your favourite mustards or spreads for dipping. Serve alongside your favourite pickles, cheeses, and olives to make a complete ploughman's board for your guests. 

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