We just got back from a week in fantastic Toronto, Canada, and wanted to share a few highlights plus a recipe for a tasty and healthy watermelon salad with quinoa and arugula enjoyed in a local restaurant.
Watermelon Salad with Quinoa
We love to travel, but we have not spent much time in the beautiful country just to our north: Canada. Invited to a wedding, we went in advance to explore and discover what Toronto had to offer.
The fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a multicultural marvel. With great restaurants and dining, museums, music, art, culture, architecture, sports venues, Lake Ontario, and proximity to Niagara Falls, it has plenty for everyone.
St. Lawrence Market
The first day we headed to the market. Where else would you start? St. Lawrence Market was rated the number 1 food market in the world by National Geographic. It’s a fantastic enclosed market with amazing produce, cheese, meat, seafood, wine, and specialty items. I giddily glaze over in places like this, wandering through, mind racing with inspiration for what to do with the bounty before me and wondering how much I can stuff in my luggage.
After St Lawrence Market, we walked to the Distillery District. A designated historic site, the Distillery District is an outstanding example of Victorian industrial design from the 1800′s. Comprised of brick buildings which once housed the largest distillery in the world. Today, there are restaurants, art galleries, and shopping in truly unique stores.
One shopkeeper recommended Pure Spirits for lunch. and it was a great suggestion. You get the best recommendations by talking with people when you travel. A warm sunny day, we ate on the outdoor patio, although the inside of the restaurant looked really neat.
Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Watermelon
This recipe is my take on the terrific salad I had for lunch. A combination of baby spinach and arugula greens, the salad also had chunks of watermelon, a sprinkle of quinoa and a little cheese with a light vinaigrette. I snapped a quick picture to remember to create the recipe.
Toronto has quite a fine dining scene. While there, we enjoyed terrific meals at Scaramouche and Harbour Sixty, but our favorite is now closed.
What to Do in Toronto
Toronto has it’s share of museums. We spent a rainy afternoon at the ROM, the Royal Ontario Museum of natural history. It was fascinating with many great exhibits. Another interesting part of Toronto we had to see was Graffiti Alley. We spent hours exploring this long avenue of street art. What a place for photography! We took too many fantastic shots to share in this post, but here are a couple.
If you have the opportunity to visit Toronto, go! And if you need a suggestion on where to stay, we really enjoyed the boutique Hotel Le Germain on Maple Leafs Square. It was a great location that allowed us to walk most everywhere and grab a taxi when we were too pooped from miles on foot.
For the best website on what to do when visiting Toronto, go to See Toronto Now.I t’s packed with great ideas. And for another refreshing salad with fruit, try my orange and fennel salad.
Watermelon Salad with Quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 ounces arugula
- 4-5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4-6 ounces feta or ricotta salata cheese cut into small cubes or crumbled
- 2 cups watermelon chunks
- 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
- Whisk oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add fresh washed greens and toss with hand to cover the greens evenly. Sprinkle on quinoa (¼ cup per person), feta, watermelon and onion.
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