These unique pickled strawberries make a wonderful snack or pre-dinner nibble on grilled baguette. Plus, you get the added bonus of a flavoured vinegar!
source: Refresh with Mint, alive #368, June 2013
If strawberries are large, cut in half, otherwise leave whole. Place strawberries, mint, and pepper in large heat-safe container with a lid.
In small saucepan over medium heat, bring rice vinegar, water, honey, and salt to a simmer. Pour over strawberries and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 10 hours or overnight.
When ready to assemble crostini, warm grill or frying pan over medium heat.
Remove strawberries from pickling liquid with slotted spoon, reserving flavoured vinegar for another use.
Brush slices of baguette with oil and grill or brown lightly in frying pan, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to serving plate and spread each slice with some goat cheese. Let cool for a minute before topping with micro greens and strawberries. Garnish crostini with a few small mint leaves, chopped chives, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
This recipe is part of the Refresh with Mint 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.