Makes about 8 servings.
Harvesting dandelions offers a myriad of possibilities. The leaves are tasty in salads and delicious brewed for tea. The flowers can be made into a wonderful syrup. And the roots? Perfect for making coffee.
Dandelion coffee is also delicious served hot on a cool night around a campfire. Spike it with a little piece of dark chocolate stirred in and some orange zest. Then add warmed milk. So gooood!
Dandelions have been advocated to support health in myriad ways:
Preheat oven to 275 F (165 C). Slice roots into pieces and coarsely chop. Thinly spread out roots on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for approximately 2 hours, until deep brown in colour, like coffee beans. Remove and cool. Roasted roots can be stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool place until ready to grind for coffee.
To make coffee, grind up enough roasted roots in coffee grinder to measure 6 Tbsp (90 mL).
In large saucepan, heat water with cinnamon stick until simmering. Stir in ground dandelion roots. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until liquid is rich in colour and begins to smell like steamed coffee.
Remove from heat. Strain through fine-meshed sieve into heatproof container. Stir in sugar, if using, until dissolved. Cool in refrigerator.
To serve, pour over ice cubes in glass mug. Stir in some milk, if you wish, and dust with cinnamon.
This recipe is part of the Thirsty? collection.
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.