Cauliflower has been having a moment lately, and this salad proves exactly why. Tender caramelized cauliflower is crowned in a glorious sweet and savoury crumble that will ensure it a place on your table all month long. Of all tree nuts, pecans have the highest concentration of flavonoids, which offer beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, and they also protect your cells from oxidative damage.
This crumble topping is too good not to use it on other preparations. Sprinkle over a carrot ribbon salad to add some extra pizzazz, use as a glorious garnish on a soup or stew, or consider generously spooning over your next vegetable “steak” to add some delicious textural variation.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
On rimmed baking tray in preheated oven, place pecans and pumpkin seeds and toast, stirring once or twice, until pecans are fragrant and pumpkin seeds are toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 425 F (218 C). Transfer cooled nuts to plate and place empty tray back in oven to preheat for 10 minutes.
Trim cauliflower and cut into florets. Transfer florets to large bowl along with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) oil, cumin, salt, and pepper and toss until well combined. Set aside.
Take garlic head and trim about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) off the top, exposing cloves within. Place on piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap garlic completely. Drizzle exposed garlic cloves with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Bring parchment paper up and twist top to secure. Cover parchment-wrapped garlic bulb with foil in the same manner.
Tip seasoned cauliflower onto warmed baking tray and spread into even layer. Place wrapped garlic bulb on tray with cauliflower before roasting everything together, stirring once halfway, until cauliflower is caramelized and garlic cloves are soft, about 40 minutes.
While cauliflower is roasting, make crumble. On cutting board, place toasted pecans and pumpkin seeds with Medjool dates and roughly chop. Add arugula or kale, hemp hearts, and lemon zest and continue to chop until arugula is in bite-sized pieces and mixture is well combined but still has plenty of texture.
Transfer warm roasted cauliflower to serving platter. Squeeze garlic overtop cauliflower, tossing, if desired. Drizzle with lemon juice before sprinkling with crumble. Enjoy while warm or at room temperature.
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.