These pillowy little gnocchi are delicious with just about any sauce. We’ve made them with rutabaga so they’re full of healthy vitamins, then paired them with saffron-laced salmon and thyme. Absolutely scrumptious. Coupled with pucker-up lemon and dill, it’s a sensational blend of flavours.
Gnocchi can be a little labour intensive to prepare. Make a batch ahead and refrigerate or freeze. Then, when you’re ready to serve, presto! It only takes 4 to 6 minutes to cook from fresh or frozen.
In saucepan, combine rutabaga with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Boil, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rutabaga is very soft. Drain and transfer to food processor. Pulse until very smooth and creamy. You should have 2 cups (500 mL) pureu0301e. Place in large bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled.
Once cooled, stir in egg and salt. Then add 2 cups (500 mL) flour, mixing until evenly blended. Transfer to lightly floured work surface and gently knead in more flour just until dough is soft and smooth. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour. On floured board, roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 16 in (40 cm) long. Cut rope into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces. If you wish, roll each piece of gnocchi against the tines of a fork for added texture. (This step is optional.) Then place in single layer on floured baking sheet and set aside.
Preheat oven to 275 F (135 C). Lightly oil baking dish just large enough to hold salmon in a single layer. Place salmon fillets skin-side down. Rub salmon with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Tuck fresh thyme and chopped garlic around fillets. With mortar and pestle, crush saffron until finely ground and place in small bowl. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) hot water to saffron and stir until almost dissolved. Stir in juice from 1 lemon and drizzle overtop salmon. Slow-roast salmon in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or just until opaque in the centre.
While salmon bakes, bring large pot of water to a full boil. Cook gnocchi in batches of 20 or more so they donu2019t stick together. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until they begin to float. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside in heated bowl. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
When salmon is done, remove from oven. Gently lift baking dish, straining any liquid into small saucepan. Whisk in juice from remaining 2 lemons, along with maple syrup, butter, and a bit of fresh thyme. Continue to whisk, just until it appears almost creamy. Add a splash of water, if necessary. Season to taste. Remove from heat and strain sauce over gnocchi. Gently toss to evenly coat.
Serve gnocchi in heated individual serving bowls with salmon fillet overtop and garnish with fresh dill. Season, to taste.
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.