One taste of this rich nut butter and you may never go back to the store-bought variety. If you want your spread to be a vibrant green, you’ll need to remove the pistachio skins before grinding. And you can splurge for shelled nuts if you want to avoid tender fingertips. Spread on toast, whole grain crackers, crepes, or even fruit. By the spoonful is good too!
2 cups (500 mL) unsalted shelled pistachios
1/3 cup (80 mL) lukewarm water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) light honey, such as clover or alfalfa
1 tsp (5 mL) natural vanilla extract
Place pistachios in pot of boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Working in batches, place pistachios on a clean kitchen towel, fold, and rub off the skins. In skillet over medium heat, toast skinned pistachios until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let cool.
Place cooled nuts, water, honey, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in food processor and grind until smooth and buttery. If needed, add additional water, only 1 Tbsp (5 mL) at a time, to help with blending.
Each serving contains: 187 calories; 6 g protein; 14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 13 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 59 mg sodium
from "Hey, Honey!", alive #355, May 2012
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.