The tag team of black lentils and sweet potatoes creates a satisfying dish that is jam-packed with heart-friendly and hunger-squashing fibre. Any leftovers of the lentil mixture are a great dish on their own served as a healthy lunch.
The sweet potatoes can be prepared ahead of time and kept chilled for up to 3 days. Simply reheat the baked potatoes in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Using fork, poke several holes in sweet potatoes. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on size of potatoes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt; heat until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and heat for 1 minute. Add thyme, cumin, coriander, turmeric, allspice, and black pepper to pan; heat for 30 seconds. Add lentils and 2 cups (500 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in kale and heat for additional 10 minutes.
To serve, slice down centre of each potato and stuff with lentil mixture. Top with dollops of Greek yogurt and walnuts. Garnish with lemon zest.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.