If you’re going to serve a salad as a main dish, it had better impress. As a celebration of enticing textures and awakening flavours, this one certainly does just that. You can use one type of microgreen for the pesto (try basil, mustard, kale, or radish) and another for the salad, such as sunflower, red cabbage, pea shoots, or arugula.
Named after the whale caviar they resemble, black (beluga) lentils are worth seeking out. They are less earthy-tasting than other lentils and hold their shape once cooked, making them a stand-out addition to salads.
Tip: Leftover pesto is exceptional as a sandwich spread or stirred into a pot of cooked pasta. Wild salmon or Arctic char would be two nutritious and sustainable alternatives to trout.
Place lentils, 3 cups (750 mL) water, and salt in medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Season trout with salt and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until trout is just cooked through in centre, about 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then gently break apart flesh with fork.
To make microgreen pesto, in food processor, pulse together 2 cups (500 mL) microgreens, garlic, hemp hearts, and lemon juice until well combined. Add Parmesan and then drizzle in 1/4 cup (60 mL) oil through the top feed tube with machine running. To make vinaigrette, whisk together 3 Tbsp (45 mL) pesto, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water, and a couple pinches of salt.
To assemble salad, divide salad greens, lentils, cucumber, sundried tomatoes, green onions, pistachios, and capers among serving plates. Top with trout and 2 cups (500 mL) microgreens. Drizzle on microgreen dressing.
This recipe is part of the Small But Mighty collection.
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.