What’s in Store with Marissa Papaconstantinou: Longo’s Leaside

Hey everyone, it’s Paralympic medalist sprinter and Canadian record holder Marissa Papaconstantinou! I’m proud to continue exploring my Greek heritage in partnership with Krinos Canada by visiting some amazing spots around the country spreading #FetaCulture.

First up, Longo’s Leaside (93 Laird Dr, East York, ON M4G 3V1), just southwest of the Ontario Science Centre where I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the bionics exhibit. This Longo’s location actually used to be an old locomotive shop for the Canadian Northern Railway. The character of the store comes through as soon as you walk in as they kept a lot of the historical elements like the original wooden ceiling.

I thought there would be no better place to start my conversation with store manager Steve Gigis than at the deli counter. Feta cheese is at the top of my list of favourite foods, it’s a super tasty topper to many of the meals that fuel my busy schedule as a professional athlete. Lucky for me, Longo’s Leaside carries all sorts of Krinos feta varieties like Greek Barrel Aged, Sheep’s Milk, or Goat’s Milk, and in all different shapes like wedges or ready-to-use crumbled feta.

“Krinos products are special to us because they provide us product from Greece, it’s DOP, and because of that the cheese just has a different texture than anything else produced elsewhere,” Steve noted when asked why he carries Krinos feta. “Krinos feta is creamy & soft, and comes in different sizes for all families.”

At the core of Steve’s store is a commitment to freshness, quality, and catering to the community they operate in. “We only offer products to our customers that I would be proud to offer my own family,” he says. “We’re just north of the Danforth so we have a large Greek customer base looking for products made in Greece.”

Steve showed me around to even more Krinos products dotted around the store like the Attiki Honey, Roasted Sweet Red Peppers, and the Fillo Twisters which he mentioned were a customer favourite.

In the end, everything comes back to the feta. “It has to be the feta cheese,” when Steve was asked about his favourite Krinos product, “it’s a phenomenal product, a homerun for me!”

That’s all from me for now! Make to stay tuned for my next visit on the Krinos Canada Kitchen Blog.

Grilled Halloumi Panzanella Salad

Summer is here and we know you are ready to enjoy the fresh bounty that it has to offer. A bright, fresh, and super satisfying summer salad is the perfect way to do this! Panzanella is commonly known as the salad that uses chunks of day-old bread to add body and crunch to a juicy salad. In our version, juicy seasonal heirloom and cherry tomatoes are paired with cool cucumber, pickled red onions, then tossed and topped with our creamy, fragrant grilled Halloumi. A simple Greek honey & balsamic dressing drapes the top of this stunner for the perfect summer meal that comes together in a pinch.

First, combine Krinos extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, Attiki honey, salt and pepper for the dressing and set aside to allow the flavours to come together.

Second, the base to this salad is a beautiful sourdough loaf that has been torn or cut into cubes. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and drizzle oil over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss to coat evenly. Bake until gold and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.

Next, preheat your grill, or grill pan to high heat. (a regular non-stick pan can be used, you will get a more even golden colour vs grill marks). Slice halloumi, roughly 1 cm thick and set aside. Brush grill with olive oil to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium and grill until well-charred but not burnt, this will only take 1-2 minutes.

To assemble the salad, place cucumbers and tomatoes on a plate, top with halloumi, your homemade croutons and pickled onion. Garnish with basil and drizzle with the prepared dressing and enjoy!

Click here to discover the full recipe!