Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fennel’

A few years ago I found a recipe for a root vegetable salad I’d never seen before as I flipped through my Larousse Gastronomique. I was immediately intrigued at the combination of a creamy old-fashioned garlic dressing with the crisp and earthy vegetables, and decided to give it a shot.

Since then, I have tried all sorts of vegetable combinations. I love how colourful and fresh the salad is. Accompanied by a hard-boiled egg or grilled piece of meat, it can make a full lunch.

Living in Montréal now, I have begun to explore the local food scene. I visited the market in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue (a suburb on the western side of the island) on Saturday, and was delighted at what I found. Basically everything that went into this salad came from this market!

Ingredients – for 4 servings

-1 beet, finely sliced into half-circles
-1/2 small head fennel, finely sliced into strips
-1-2 carrots, cut into match-sticks
-1 celery stalk, cut into match-sticks
-2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rounds
-1/2 an apple, cut into thin wedges
-juice from 1/4 lemon or lime
-4 whole large leaves of lettuce (optional)
-a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds (optional), for garnish

-1.5 Tbsp cider vinegar
-1.5 Tbsp grain mustard
-1.5 Tbsp cream
-pinch fresh minced tarragon or dry tarragon
-cracked pepper and salt to taste

Directions

Wash and peel then finely slice all ingredients (feel free to leave all the peels on if you like – some like them and others don’t), leaving the apple for last. Drizzle lemon juice over apple to keep it from browning. Using a very sharp knife will help as well. Keep the beet separate so as not to colour everything in advance.

This salad can be assembled either on side-plates (the way that keeps it looking more special), or in a large, shallow bowl. Arrange the veggies however you like, over a leaf of lettuce if you choose to do so.

To make the dressing, mix the vinegar and mustard. Once thoroughly mixed, add the cream and mix some more, adding the tarragon at the end. Drizzle over salad, and add salt and pepper to taste.

The key to success with this salad is finely chopping all the ingredients. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

-Sitelle

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Family dinners at the cottage are often more exciting than one bargains for.  Earlier this spring, my grandmother was given a whole frozen Arctic char.  She decided that the occasion to serve it would be for her 63rd wedding anniversary.  The dilemma was how to cook the fish?  No one in my family had ever attempted to cook a whole fish before, and certainly not a beautiful large Arctic char!

On their 63rd wedding anniversary, my grandparents enjoying an evening swim!

We decided to try to poach it.  My mother dug up from her basement, a dusty fish poacher given to her as a wedding gift over two decades ago (never once used).  I was to look up a recipe, and chose Martha Stewart’s court-bouillon recipe for poached salmon.  It looked simple, yet flavourful using fresh spring ingredients.  And the Arctic char would add the Canadian twist!

Cooking the fish proved to be more exciting than expected.  Our first excitement came when we realized I had forgotten the recipe at the grocery store.  Then, as it thawed,  we discovered it had yet to be gutted (my uncle saved us here).  Finally, half way through the poaching, my sister scraped the crown of her foot on a rock covered with zebra mussels. She suffered a series of cuts, but more seriously, a gash that proved to need stitches!  Realizing emergency might take a while, we decided to enjoy the fish and chocolate zucchini cake before taking my sister into town for stitches.  But really, what would a special dinner be at the cottage sans adventure?

The fish itself was delicious – succulent, flavourful, and soft – the 14 of us polished it off nicely.  Indeed, my mother thought it was so delicious that she decided to cook it the following week for a dinner party!

A feast of Arctic Char!

Poached Arctic Char

(serves 12-15)

Ingredients

1 bottle dry white wine

1/2 fresh fennel, sliced

2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

3 bay leaves

1 bouquet garni (1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley and 1 bunch thyme, tied together)

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

Water

1 large Arctic char, between 6-8 pounds, gutted (salmon substitutes beautifully)

Directions:

Set the poacher diagonally over the stove so it touches two burners.  Place all the ingredients for the court-bouillon into the fish poacher.  Add water until the fish poacher is about 3/5th full.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Gently lower the Arctic char into the court-bouillon.  Cook at a bare simmer for about 20 minutes.  Slide two wooden spoons through each handle of the rack, and lift it to remove the fish.  Serve on its own or with a creamy dill sauce.  (Be sure to freeze the stalk for another dish.) Poached Arctic char is perfect for special occasions!

– Catherine

Read Full Post »