Each salad component is unique and distinct in flavour—from fennel’s hint of licorice to tart and fruity pear, peppery arugula, and smooth, salty blue cheese—it’s all brought together with a sweet and tangy citrus dressing. Elegant in appearance yet simple to create, this light and fresh salad is great for any occasion or as a perfect side for a winter picnic. Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans for another layer of crunch!
Packing this salad to go for a picnic or dinner party? Layering the salad will help keep the colours vibrant and greens fresh. Toss fennel, onion, and pear with citrus dressing for bottom salad layer. Top with arugula and blue cheese, and cover. Just before serving, mix arugula and blue cheese into the bottom salad layer, coating everything with dressing.
In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
In large salad bowl, add fennel, pear, arugula, onion, and blue cheese. Whisk dressing once more and add to salad bowl and toss. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and enjoy!
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.