One of the ongoing dilemmas of being Canadian is being endlessly taunted by the amazing products sold in American grocery stores.
I mean, have you seen the pop aisle in an American grocery store? It's a magical place full of every possible flavour of soda you could dream of.
Canada may have cornered the market when it comes to potato chip flavours (ketchup chips FTW!), but when it comes to sheer mind-boggling variety of just about everything else, the US wins hands down.
One of those only-in-the-US products I've been coveting for years is Muir Glen's fire roasted tomatoes. Sure, you can get perfectly good canned tomatoes in Canada, but none with that smoky sweet fire roasted taste.
The good news in this case is that Muir Glen is now available in Canada, which means I no longer need to go south of the border to stock up.
(And, by extension, no longer need to explain to customs officers why I have a suitcase full of tomatoes.)
To celebrate, the folks at Muir Glen challenged me to remake one of their recipes and share the results.
Their pick was this Tomato and Mushroom Focaccia, which I've made over into individual bite-sized crostini topped with a blend of Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes, chopped marinated artichoke hearts and thinly sliced sauteed mushrooms finished with a sprinkling of bubbly melted cheese and finely chopped basil.
This is the kind of recipe I'd normally make with fresh tomatoes, because it's so simple and straightforward that every single ingredient counts. There's nowhere for lackluster flavours to hide.
However, seeing as we've still got a couple of months to go before we have access to decent field-grown tomatoes, I have no qualms about using canned especially when it's a high quality product like Muir Glen.
Their tomatoes are field grown using certified organic practices no synthetic pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, just delicious vine-ripened tomatoes in every can.
The end result is a tasty appetizer that's perfect for summer entertaining.
All you need is a loaf of fresh focaccia bread and about 10 minutes of time... perfect for getting the party started at your next backyard barbecue.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Muir Glen. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep the cupboards in the Crumb kitchen fully stocked! All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
Tomato and Mushroom Focaccia Bites
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 12 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
These tasty bite-sized crostini combine crispy flatbread slices with a savoury antipasto-inspired topping of sauteed mushrooms, marinated artichokes and diced Muir Glen tomatoes, all under a layer of melty mozzarella goodness. Perfect for getting the party started at your next backyard barbecue!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 loaf focaccia, cut into 2" squares
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a large pan set over medium high heat, saute the mushrooms in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any liquid remaining in the pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cooked mushrooms with drained tomatoes and chopped artichoke hearts.
- Arrange the bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet, sprinkle the bread with ¾ cup of the cheese. with remaining ¼ cup cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with basil just before serving.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Canadian
Krista M says
Three-Cheese Cannelloni is the best thing I've made with canned tomatoes! It's a dish my mom would make when I was growing up. It takes quite a bit of work but is one fine feast!
The best thing I ever made w/ a can of tomatoes? Hmmm, that's a tough one; maybe my sausage and chicken cacciatore. I say that one because it's my husbands fave. BTW, laughing thinking of customs looking at a trunk full of tomatoes.
Kim Beaulieu says
Oh my gosh Isabelle, I had no idea they were in Canada now. I need to scope out our local stores and try to find some immediately.
I love this recipe. It would be perfect for bringing to potlucks and parties. It's just gorgeous and full of flavour. I need to make it immediately.
Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos says
Muir Glen is one of my favorite brands - especially fire roasted tomatoes. These focaccia bites are perfect for entertaining!
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
ooo man those tomatoes are good aren' they! Love these little bites!
PS. YES to ketchup potato chips!!! I had them when I was a teenager in Canda and loved them!
Brenda Penton says
The best thing I've ever made was unstuffed cabbage rolls. It is a family favourite!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
Mmmm I'll have to look for these tomatoes so I can make this!! I'm glad you can get them in Canada now!
My favourite thing I've made recently with canned tomatoes is Rosemary ketchup. Would love to try it with a smokey kick!
This is great news. I buy Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes when I'm in Maine because they're yummy and the cans are BPA-free. (I'm a soup girl and I love fire roasted tomatoes for my lentil soup recipes.)
The best thing I've made with canned tomatoes was a slow cooker beefy macaroni and cheese that called for canned tomatoes. The dish went over really well with my family!
Jen Hodge says
Bolognese! I love fire roasted tomatoes too.
I use canned tomatoes sooooo much! I used them today to make my Black Bean Quesidillas and plan to use them for my Lentil Taco's. They are awesome in soups and stews. Tuscan Poached eggs is another favourite - with fresh tomatoes in season but canned throughout the year. It is awesome to have high quality canned tomotoes in the pantry!
Joanne Ochej says
The best thing I've ever made with canned tomatoes was tomato soup! Rich, creamy, comforting.... then topped it off with more comfort, using grilled cheese croutons. Bet this would be amazing using Muir Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes! ps I totally know what you mean about American grocery stores!!
Belinda McNabb says
the best thing I make using canned tomatoes is a chicken bruschetta bake. so good and I found the recipe on the kraft website! All you need is cut up chicken, tomatoes, basil, chicken stove top stuffing and mozza cheese
Heather Chase says
Baked Summer Squash (cousa) stuffed with sausage and cheese. I took whole canned plum tomatoes and squeezed with my hands over the stuffed squash. Chunks of tomato flesh and juice bathed the squash and then baked in the oven. De-lish!
Oh boy! This is such exciting news! I'm adding this to my grocery list so I can look for them when I get groceries later!!! The best thing I've ever made with canned tomatoes was a roasted red pepper pasta sauce - I was almost shocked at how great the canned tomatoes tasted!
A slow roasted chicken with tomatoes and spinach...and lots of garlic!
Laura @ The Bluenose Baker says
I mix a can of fire-roasted tomatoes with peppers, onions and shredded chicken - makes a great filling for taquitos!
janet @ the taste space says
Hourray for Muir Glen! I discovered those tomatoes when I lived in the US and they lived up to their hype. Definitely going to track them down. Canned tomatoes are such a staple in my kitchen, I go through them so quickly. One of my easiest and tastiest tomato sauces starts with canned crushed tomatoes.
The best thing I've ever made with tomatoes is my mom's Tamatay Ka Salan...it's an India dish that is made with beef and the base of the sauce is tomatoes...lots of tomatoes!
I would have to say the best thing I've made using canned tomatoes is pasta sauce! Olive oil, canned tomatoes, a drizzle of white or red wine, herbs & veggies of choice and blitz with an immersion blender.
We like using fresh tomatoes whenever possible, but would resort to canned tomatoes otherwise.
Renee Mackey-Burson says
Oh boy! Great giveaway! I put up jars and jars of homemade salsa every summer that use both fresh and canned tomatoes in the recipe. So good!
Cassie | Crumb Kitchen says
These look fantastic, Isabelle! Perfect for entertaining. Tomato and mushroom go so well together. :)
I've made a delicious bruschetta chicken breast by flattening out a chicken breast and filling in with cheese, canned tomatoes and basil, then rolling it up and baking it. Yum!
The best thing I've made with canned tomatoes is a macaroni, cheese and bacon casserole
I make an AMAZING chili using canned tomatoes! It is a family favourite and now I want to try making it but subbing Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes in the recipe as I bet that would add an additional depth of flavour!