Slightly sour with a marbled ruby interior and berrylike flesh, blood oranges are at their peak right now. Paired with rich chocolate and creamy cashews, this is a perfectly sweet, seasonal (and vegan!) ending to any spring feast.
1 cup (250 mL) walnuts
1 cup (250 mL) packed, pitted Medjool dates (about 8)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
2 cups (500 mL) raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in water, drained, and rinsed
2/3 cup (160 mL) coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup, plus more to drizzle
1/3 cup (80 mL) cocoa powder
Zest of 1 blood orange
1/4 cup (60 mL) blood orange juice
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 blood orange, cut into thin rounds, for serving
Line 7 in (18 cm) springform pan with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
To make crust: In food processor, pulse walnuts until rough flour is formed. Add dates and salt, pulsing until fully combined. Firmly press into bottom of prepared pan. Chill while preparing filling.
To make filling: In food processor, blend cashews until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, blending until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into prepared crust. Freeze for at least 6 hours.
To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Unhinge pan and place cheesecake on serving platter. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes, or until soft enough to slice.
Garnish each piece with a slice of blood orange and drizzle with additional maple syrup to sweeten, if desired.
Leftovers can be kept well covered in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Each serving contains: 542 calories; 10 g protein; 42 g total fat (19 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g total carbohydrates (26 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 153 mg sodium
source: "Early Spring Produce", alive #389, March 2015
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.