Composed, warm salads bring Mediterranean sunshine to the plate any time of year. Sous vide cooking’s precise and steady temperature control in a water bath means sustainable, better-than-canned tuna, is easier than ever. Crisp, tender, and decadent all at once, this French “comfort food” meal is tied together with a zippy lemon-mustard vinaigrette.
For the protein component, sous vide-cooked salmon or mackerel would be a great alternative to the tuna.
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
Prepare sous vide water bath according to manufactureru2019s instructions, and set sous vide cooker to 130 F (54 C) for a well-cooked texture of canned tuna result or 115 F (46 C) for a tender, juicier textured tuna. Add tuna steaks and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil to large silicone food storage bag and seal tightly, removing as much air as possible. When cooker has reached temperature, slowly add bag and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, or to manufactureru2019s suggestions. When cooked, remove tuna from bag (save juices), open, and reserve tuna on plate with its cooking oil.
Add potatoes to large baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with knife. Halve larger potatoes.
In small jar, shake remaining oil with lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey, pepper, and remaining salt. Toss dressing with lettuce and tomatoes in large bowl, and add to serving bowls or plates. Flake tuna and divide over salad along with roasted potatoes, eggs, and olives.
This recipe is part of the Cooking with Water 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.