Posts Tagged ‘Halifax’

This past weekend, my friend Craig came to visit my roomate Katie and me in Halifax.  After spending a lovely day wandering the Seaport Market and Spring Garden Road, we were craving flaky and cheesy spanakopita.   Unsurprisingly, we ran out of spinach filling before phyllo, so inspired by frozen berries in the freezer, we decided to make bumbleberry tarts.  The filling was berrilicious and the tarts crispy.  I confess I still have a slight preference for flaky pastry, (or filling the phyllo cups with salmon mousse), but this was a tasty way to ensure we did not waste any phyllo sheets!

The phyllo cups can be made a day ahead if once cooled, they are stored in an airtight container.

Phyllo Bumbleberry Tarts

(makes 20 tarts)


4 sheets phyllo pastry

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups frozen mixed berries, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons peach or apricot jam

1/4 cup sugar + 1 extra teaspoon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Rind from one orange


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lay a sheet of the phyllo on a clean surface.  Brush the top with the melted butter.  Place another sheet on top of the first, and brush it with butter.  Repeat with the remaining two sheets.  Sprinkle the top phyllo sheet with a teaspoon of sugar. Cut the phyllo into 16-20 squares and press each into a tart pan.  Bake for five minutes or until the phyllo is goldon (watch them carefully!)

Meanwhile, stir berries, jam, and sugar together.  Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Taste and adjust for your preferred sweetness. In a small cup, mix the cornstarch with some of the berry juice.  Whisk into bumbleberry filling and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.  Grate in as much orange rind as desired.  Allow the filling to cool.

Before serving, spoon the filling into the phyllo cups. Bon appetit!

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Halifax’s growing season continues to surprise me, if only because local strawberries are still in their prime come the end of September!  I was looking for an excuse to cook something savoury with them, when I happened upon some fishcakes in the grocery store.  The fishmonger recommended I pair it with a salsa, so, inspired, I decided to marry the strawberries with cherry yellow tomatoes and balsamic.

Gems from Halifax's market: strawberries, yellow cherry tomatoes, and kale.

The sweet cherry yellow tomatoes looked and tasted beautiful contrasted to the strawberries.  The balsamic only further deepened the flavours, while the slightly bitter cilantro piqued the salad.  My one complaint?  Against the bold flavours of the salad, the fishcake, which had too much potato and too little cod, was lost in the mix.  Next time, I’ll have to attempt my own!

If you put the balsamic glaze in a bottle, you can go wild decorating your plate!

Strawberry Tomato Salad with a Balsamic Glaze

(serves 1 strawberry and cherry tomato lover)



About a dozen strawberries, hulled and quartered

About a dozen yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 shallot, finely diced

1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (you can buy balsamic vinegar already reduced at superstores, or make your own by boiling balsamic for a few minutes)

Salt and pepper to taste



Toss all the ingredients together. Adjust the strawberry,cherry, and balsamic proportion if desired.  Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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