Spooned over hearty fall greens such as kale or chard, this delicious side dish can also double as a main meal; its flavours absolutely pop with our zesty herb topping. The beets are packed with amazing nutrients, plus they’re delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold.
This dish is a meal in itself. Scatter toasted pine nuts or pecans overtop for some added crunch.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). In ovenproof saucepan with tight-fitting lid, place unpeeled beets with rosemary and a splash of water. Cover and place in preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a thin sharp knife.
Meanwhile, in skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Add leeks and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water, if needed, to keep them from sticking. Fold in lentils, remove from heat, and set aside.
In high-speed blender, combine tahini, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange juice, maple syrup, and salt. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water and whirl until blended and creamy. Add a little more water if needed. Set aside.
In small bowl, combine parsley, mint, 2 tsp (10 mL) orange zest, and garlic. Stir to blend. Set aside.
When beets are tender, remove from oven and discard rosemary. When beets are cool enough to handle, scrape off skins. Cut into wedges and place in serving bowl. Scatter leeks and lentils overtop. Drizzle with tahini dressing and scatter chopped herb mixture overtop. Toss before serving and serve at room temperature. Season with salt and pepper, if you wish.
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.