Farmhouse Zucchini Bread

We harvested our first zucchini at Montreal’s City Farm School yesterday –  what a thrill to reach into the extravagant leaves and snap these golden beauties off the vine. Our first major harvest! We’ve been steadily harvesting spring lettuce, kale, radishes, beets, peas, basil and garlic scapes out of this urban organic farm in Notre-Dame-De-Grace…

Garlic Scape Pesto

One of life’s great pleasures is cooking with fruits and vegetables in season, straight from the farmer’s fields. Right now in Quebec, that vegetable is garlic scapes. Garlic scapes (fleur de l’ail in French) are the long, curly stalk that grows out of a garlic plant. The scapes get snapped off in late June so…

Peppery Arugula Pesto

For me, nothing beats basil pesto, but arugula pesto comes a close second.  Plus, farmer’s markets are bursting with fresh spring greens this time of year, so it’s a great time to try this recipe. It’s also an interesting way to use arugula in something other than just salads. Arugula’s peppery tang mixes beautifully with…

Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Farmer’s markets in Quebec are full of field-grown asparagus this time of year, so it’s a great time to try this dish. You hardly need a recipe for this one. Simply steam the asparagus, make the vinaigrette, poach the eggs, and then assemble everything together. This recipe is great with boiled new potatoes, which you…

Homemade Rhubarb Strawberry Jam

Rhubarb strawberry jam is a brightly-coloured, wonderfully tart jam. It’s one of the first jam you can make in the spring in Quebec using local, homegrown products. If you don’t have any rhubarb growing in your garden, check your local farmer’s market or grocery store. If you’ve never tried making jam, try this recipe! It’s…

Spring Rhubarb Pie

I always feel like a capable farm girl when I head into the garden with a long knife and start hacking at the rhubarb. It’s one of the first things to pop up in the spring. The lush green leaves grow so fast that some people say you can actually hear it sing. Pie is…

Fiddleheads Pan-Fried in Butter

Goodbye, winter! No more root vegetables. No more pickles. No more maple syrup poured out on the snow — fiddleheads are popping up in bogs and forests all over Quebec, ready to be eaten. Fiddleheads (also known as têtes de violon or les crosses de fougères)  are a kind of fern that are wild harvested in the early spring when they…

Soupe aux Gourgane or Fava Bean Soup

This rich and filling bean and barley soup recipe is from the Saguenay / Lac St. Jean region of Quebec. Known in Quebec as soupe aux gourgane, the recipe was adapted from a recipe from Julian Armstrong’s Made in Quebec cookbook, a wonderful compendium of French-Canadian recipes. Ideally, you would make this in August when…

Homemade Maple Jerky

When the early settlers arrived in Quebec, the native Indians who lived here likely taught them to make jerky.  There was no other way to store meat at that time. Homemade jerky is fun to make, delicious, and costs a fraction of what commercial jerky costs. You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients –…

Roasted Lac Brome Duck with Maple Caramelized Pears

After sampling a Lac Brome Duck Pot Pie a few months ago, (fantastic!) we decided to visit the farm in Knowlton, Quebec when visiting the Eastern Townships not long ago. The store is a simple trailer, parked outside a large industrial-looking building.  It was a bit disappointing – I was expecting something more picturesque, like…

Traditional Quebec Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

Who knew? The recipe for Traditional Quebec Pea Soup probably came across the ocean with Samuel de Champlain over 400 years ago. According to the Ottawa Chef Marc Miron who recently made this discovery, “When they came to Canada, they didn’t know what to expect so they loaded up their boats with dry beans, cured…

Maple Cream

Maple cream is a creamy spread that’s great on toast, muffins, fresh homemade bread– or just on a spoon straight from the jar. Image source It’s called “butter” but there’s no cream or butter in the recipe. It’s just pure maple syrup that has been boiled, cooled then stirred (and stirred… and stirred…) until the…

Slow Braised Maple Carrots

These carrots disappear from the dinner table faster than anything else. A big hit with kids and adults alike. A great side dish with roast lamb.        Image Source Slow Braised Maple Carrots   6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced in 2″ lengths Approximately 1 cup water 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon….

Mandoline Slicer for Potatoes Gratin Dauphinois 

This mandoline is great for making potatoes gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes). It sells on Amazon.ca for just over $20. The Sterline Adjustable Stainless Steel Mandoline Slicer is super convenient and great quality for the price.  Plus,  like those old K-Tel ads … “It slices! It dices! It juliennes!”  Also makes great waffle fries. Has a built-in stand, and a…

Maple Syrup Pie with Apple Cider Vinegar

Maple syrup pie is delicious but can be unbearably sweet. This problem is solved with a generous shot of apple cider vinegar to balance out the flavour. Image Source This recipe takes time, so it’s not for anyone who wants their pie in a hurry. You can make the maple filling a day ahead to…

Kamouraska Lamb Crusted with Salted Herbs for Easter

This traditional Easter recipe comes straight from Quebec’s heartland: Kamouraska Lamb Crusted with Salted Herbs. Kamouraska is a pretty little village on the lower Saint Lawrence River, where the lambs spend their days grazing in the sun and wind along the river’s edge. The grass the animals eat is washed with salt water from the sea, which gives…

3 Great Maple Syrup Cookbooks

A round-up of some of the best cookbooks I found while researching traditional French-Canadian cabane à sucre recipes. Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack by Martin Picard (2012) A book that defies description but surpasses all expectation, Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack is a cookbook by legendary Quebec chef, Martin Picard.  To open this book is to step…

Maple Syrup Poached Eggs on Easter Morning

Several Americans of French-Canadian descent told me they have fond memories of eating Maple Poached Eggs on Easter morning. This is one of those recipes that you think “Really? No way. It will never work.” Then you try it, and wow – it’s like fairies dancing on your tongue. Pure comfort food. It’s also super easy…

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans Each can 540 ml (18.25 oz) $83.40 CDN Pure Quebec maple syrup, shipped straight from the farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The farm is nestled in rolling countryside, where the clean air and pure water produce one of the finest maple syrups available on the market. Packaged in the iconic…

Cabane à Sucre Egg Souflee with Maple Syrup

It seems like winter will never end, but in fact, the maple sap is running in the trees and spring is just around the corner. Photo courtesy Recettes du Quebec This means it’s almost for Quebecers to round up a gang of family and friends, jump in the car, and drive out to the country to a…