Grilled Sugar Peas with Hoisin Sauce

 
This is the eighth summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the eighth summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

Crisp sugar peas grilled with a fragrant hoisin sauce.

Every summer I plant a couple rows of sugar snap peas. I don’t think it would be a summer garden without them. This year I discovered how amazing they are grilled on the BBQ. Paired with the savoury Asian flavours of hoisin and sesame seed, these peas are crowd favourite at the summer table.

Grilled Sugar Peas with Hoisin Sauce

  • 4 – 6 cups sugar peas or snow peas

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tbs soy sauce

  • 3 tbs hoisin

  • 1 tbs sesame seed oil

  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar

  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

Pre-heat grill, along with a vegetable grill basket, on high heat for approximately 5 minutes. Turn down heat to medium.  

In a medium size bowl, toss peas in olive oil. Grill in vegetable basket until evenly charred, but not burnt. You’ll want to retain a little crunch still in the peas. Using the same bowl you tossed the peas in oil, mix together remaining ingredients for the hoisin sauce. Toss the grilled peas in hoisin sauce and serve hot.

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Kale & Swiss Chard Breakfast Pizza

 
This is the seventh summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the seventh summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

Something just feels so right about a running egg on a crispy pizza.

Kale & Swiss Chard Breakfast Pizza

  • 1 pre-made pizza dough ball from your local Italian Shop (substitute for flat bread and adjusting cooking time if you can’t find pre-made pizza dough)

  • 2 cups chopped kale and Swiss chard

  • 1 garlic scape (substitute for green onion), thinly sliced

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbs mayonnaise

  • 2 eggs

  • ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500°F.

In a small bowl, toss kale, Swiss chard, garlic scapes, lemon juice and olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide pizza dough into two. Roll out dough into two 6-inch rounds. Dust pizza peel with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Place rolled out dough on pizza peel. Spoon on 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise (per pizza) and spread over pizza. Layer on half of the kale mixture, leaving a small nest in the middle to drop the egg. Sprinkle on cheese and drizzle with a little olive oil. Transfer to pizza stone.

Cook for 8-10 minutes, and then drop egg in nest and cook until egg sets but yolk is a little runny (another 5-6 minutes). Cooking times will vary from oven to oven, so keep an eye on your pizza and adjust cooking time as needed. Garnish fresh chives and salt and pepper. 

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Homemade Chips & Salsa

 

If you are anything like me, a big bowl of chips and salsa can make the perfect dinner on occasion. I’m obsessed with fresh salsa, and usually can’t stop eating it until all the chips are gone. Salsa is surprisingly simple to make too. These homemade salsa and chips come together in minutes. Using fresh ingredients in the peak of summer is the key to a good salsa that is full of flavour. Juicy garden tomatoes, luscious cilantro, perfectly ripe bell peppers, spicy jalapeños and zesty lime will have you craving taco Tuesday on Monday through Sunday.

This post was made in partnership with PADERNO. The salsa quickly comes together using PADERNO’s 3-Cup Food Chopper and it’s Vortex Blade Technology to make chopping everything together perfectly. Tortilla chips are fried in the best deep fryer I think I’ve ever used. Seriously, I can’t get over how easy it is to clean. It has a 3.5 L oil capacity, perfect for family-sized meals and the auto-drain function drains the oil into a storage reservoir.

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Salsa

  • 2 Large ripe tomatoes

  • ¼ Red onion

  • ½ Red pepper

  • 1 Jalapeño

  • 1 Garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 Tsp sugar

  • 1 Tsp salt

  • 1 Tsp garlic salt

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • 3-4 Sprigs of fresh cilantro

  • Juice from ½ lime

TIPS:

– I like to add a little sugar in the salsa, which balances out the heat from the jalapeños and acid from the tomatoes. 

– Cut the white membrane and seeds from the jalapeño. The membrane can be quite bitter and removing the seeds will allow you to control the heat better.

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, red pepper and jalapeños. Add all the ingredients into a food chopper and pulse until desired consistency. Taste and adjust as needed to your taste buds (more lime/salt/jalapeños etc). Serve with fried tortilla chips. 

Tortilla Chips:

  • 8 fresh corn tortillas

  • Oil for frying

  • Salt, to taste

Preheat deep fryer to 350° F.

Cut tortillas into equal wedges. Fry tortilla wedges in small batches, turning occasionally, until lightly golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt while still warm.

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Cream of Celery Soup

 
This is the fifth summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the fifth summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

The first time I tasted Grey Arrow Farm’s celery last year was the first time I think I’ve ever truly tasted celery. Like vine ripen tomatoes, locally grown celery right from the garden is unlike anything you’ve had before. I wanted to create a recipe that truly celebrated the flavour of this humble, yet widely used, vegetable. Packed with onions, garlic, leeks and stock, this soup fills the soul on those cold rainy days. And we’ve certainly had a lot of them here in Edmonton this year.

Cream of Celery Soup

  • 6 stalks of celery, diced (keep a handful of leaves for garnish)

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 3 tbs flour

  • 3 tbs butter

  • 2 small garden leeks, trimmed and diced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 glove garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup crème fraiche or sour cream

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish ideas:

  • Celery leaves

  • Chives

  • Pea tendrils

  • Toasted slivered almonds

  • Edible flowers like nasturtium

  • Celery & herb oil (recipe below)

In a large pot, on medium heat, melt butter. Add celery, leeks, onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables are translucent. Add flour and stir for another 2 minutes. Add broth a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a hand mixer, puree the soup until desired consistency. Stir in crème fraiche or sour cream and cook on low heat for another 2-5 minutes. Serve hot with garnishes of liking.

Celery Leaf & Herb Oil

  • 1 cup celery leaves

  • ½ cup parsley

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch leaves and herbs for 30 seconds and immediate place in an ice bath. Drain and pure in a blender with ½ cup olive oil and salt and pepper. Strain and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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Coconut Creamed Swiss Chard

 
This is the fourth summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the fourth summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

I like to think of Swiss chard as the fancy cousin to spinach with its beautiful and colourful stalks (I’m looking at your rainbow Swiss chard). Packed with vitamin K & A, it’s a superfood all of its own. Did you know it can be eaten raw or cooked? It’s not only quick to cook, but extremely versatile in the kitchen.

TIP - Swiss chard freezes well. Buy in season and store over the winter to have handy year round and make quick nutritious dishes like this coconut creamed Swiss chard.

Coconut Creamed Swiss Chard

  • 8 cups Swiss chard, with the stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped (save and freeze the stalks for stock)

  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk

  • 1 tbs coconut oil 

  • 2 tbs butter

  • 2 tbs all purpose flour

  • 1 clove of garlic, mined

  • 1 tbs of shredded coconut  

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 shallot, diced small

  • 2 tsp curry powder (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add garlic, ginger, shallot, curry powder and smoked paprika and sauté until fragrant. Add Swiss chard and cook until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside. Add butter to the pan and then flour. Stir until the flour mixture (also known as a roux) is a light golden brown colour. Add the coconut milk and stir for 1-2 minutes until thicken. Add the Swiss chard back to the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes. 

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Steamed Fish + Pak Choi in Parchment Paper

 
This is the third summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the third summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

Dinner that comes together in minutes! Heck yes. Perfect for those busy weekday meals, but without sacrificing any flavour or wholesome vegetable goodness.

Cooking in parchment paper, or en papillote, is such a wonderful way to lock in flavour and moisture when cooking fish. Most white fish will work with this recipe and the bold flavours of chili, lime, soy and ginger.

Steamed fish, with ginger, soy, green onions and pak choi in parchment paper

Recipe is for one individual package. Multiple quantities depending on how many filets you are cooking.

  • 6 oz filet of cod or white fish

  • 4-6 stems of pak choi (baby bok choy)

  • 1 spring of green onions, cut into 3-4 inch strips

Dressing

  • ¼ tsp lime zest

  • 1 tsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger, grated

  • 3 tsp soy sauce

  • ½ tsp sesame seed oil

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes or sliced birds eye chillies (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix lime zest and juice, ginger, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, olive oil and red pepper flask in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to combine.

Cut an 18-inch piece of parchment and fold in half lengthwise.

Place the pak choi and fillet along each folded crease. Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Dress both the fillet and pak choi with the dressing and springs of green onion.

Fold parchment over fish and crimp the sides of paper over itself like you are making a dumpling or perogy. Make sure the folds are tight to keep in the steam as it cooks.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cut the packets just before serving; be careful of any escaping steam.

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Shaved Fennel & Citrus Salad with Burrata Cheese

 
This is the second summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the second summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

I absolutely love a fresh fennel salad on a hot summer day. Its anise (licorice) flavour is a perfect pairing for the bright notes of citrus, and the creaminess from the Burrata cheese.

You can find burrata at your local Italian market. Burrata, meaning "buttery" in Italian, is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. The cheese making process leaves the outer layer to form a thin soft shell (much like a buffalo mozzarella ball) which encapsulating a soft, creamy mixture of curd and fresh cream inside. An eating experience of its own!    

Shaved Fennel & Citrus Salad with Burrata Cheese

Salad:

  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly shaved (reserve the fronds for garnish)

  • 2-3 oranges, peeled and cut into thin slices (reserve any juice for dressing)

  • 2 cups arugula or beet greens

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions

  • 1-2 balls of burrata cheese

Dressing:

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 2 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 tbs honey

  • 1 tbs whole coriander, crushed

  • Reserved juice from orange segments

  • Salt and pepper to taste  

Prep the salad ingredients, and place in a large shallow bowl or salad bowl. Use a mandoline to thinly slice the fennel bulb if possible.

Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste last.

Dressed the salad when ready serve. Garnish with fennel fronds and edible flowers like nasturtium petals, kale flowers, or pansies. Serve with 1-2 burrata cheese balls.  Alternatively, you can crumble goat cheese on top as a substitute for burrata.  

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Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scape pesto

  • 5-6 garlic scapes, roughly chopped

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tbs fresh parsley

  • ¼ cup cashews

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 tbs lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small food chopper, pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use the pesto on your favourite pasta, sandwich, grilled veggies, chicken, or pizza recipe!

Read More

Cookbook Review & Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart from Vegetables First

 
I recently received a free copy of Vegetables First: 120 Vibrant Vegetable - Forward Recipes by Ricardo Larrivée from  Appetite by Random House  to review.

I recently received a free copy of Vegetables First: 120 Vibrant Vegetable - Forward Recipes by Ricardo Larrivée from Appetite by Random House to review.

This cookbook warmed my heart for several reasons. First, as a Canadian, I absolutely loved watching Chef Ricardo on TV. His show, Ricardo & Friends, was one of my go-tos; rarely missing an episode. Such an inspiration as a budding foodie at the time!

Second, it is stated right up front that the book isn’t meant to be a vegetarian cookbook. Rather, it is about making vegetables the leading role and the meat or seafood (where included in some of the recipes) a supporting role. I love this idea so much. Since the start of last year, I’ve been trying to focus my cooking on incorporating more vegetables. More meatless meals, and more unique side dishes of veggies. I find this book such an inspiration for meal ideas! I also know many friends that in the same boat as me on this too and would definitely recommend this cookbook to start.

Lastly, Ricardo dedicates this cookbook to farmers. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories and posts you’ll also know that I’ve meeting more and more farmers since last summer. I’ve been learning about the farming practices of how our produce is grown and what it really takes for the vegetable to make to my plate. Farmers are the real hero! Supporting local agriculture is important to not only our health, but the health of our plant and everything that depends on it to thrive. Eating local can change the world.

This cookbook is beautiful and artful as the vegetables that inspired the book. Recipes are fully tested, straightforward and approachable—each listing the preparation and cooking time, as well as the servings and how well it freezes. I especially adore the additional sections on how to use even the wilted unused parts of the plants for making broths, soups or purees, as well as storages tips and shelf life of most veggies.

When flipping through the book, the asparagus tart stood out the most to me. At the time I had a handful of asparagus spears ready to eat in the garden. The first ever harvest too! It also let me practice my tart making skills. The recipe was so easy to follow and came together perfectly. I decided to make mine into three smaller tarts, topping with some slivered almonds and grated cured egg yolks I had on hand too.

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ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE TART

Excerpted from Vegetables First: 120 Vibrant Vegetable Forward Recipes by Ricardo Larrivée. Copyright © 2019 Ricardo Media. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

CRUST

  • 1/4 cup (35 g) toasted hazelnuts

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) whole wheat flour

  • 2 tsp thyme leaves

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut

  • into cubes 2 tbsp (30 ml) 35% cream

FILLING

  • 4 oz  (115 g) fresh goat cheese

  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) 35% cream

  • 1 lb (450 g) mix of blanched vegetables (wild asparagus or thin asparagus cut in half lengthwise and sprouting broccoli) (see note)

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar

  • Chopped, toasted hazelnuts, for serving

CRUST
In a food processor, chop the hazelnuts with both flours. Add the thyme and salt. Mix to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Add the cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Place the dough in a tart mould 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter and with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly on the bottom and sides of the mould. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Using a fork, prick the bottom of the tart shell. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

FILLING
In a bowl, combine the goat cheese and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly across the bottom of the cooled tart shell.

 In another bowl, combine the vegetables with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve.

 NOTE Wild asparagus is not technically asparagus but is marketed under that name. You can find it in select grocery stores in the spring. Sprouting broccoli is also sold under the names broccolini. In this recipe, it can be replaced with rapini or broccoli.

PREPARATION 30 MIN
COOLING 1 H
COOKING 25 MIN

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Green Pea Fritters with Chickpea Flour

 
Green Pea Fritters

It’s hard to escape the lure of these vibrant green fritters. Fluffy, and cheesy, they are quintessential spring on a plate. Made with chickpea flour for a power-packed protein and fibre boost (and gluten free). Top with fresh ricotta cheese, or a poached egg for your St. Patrick’s brunch party.

It is also the perfect recipe for those little helping hands in the kitchen. Getting children involved in the process is a fun way to always getting them interested in what they eat, including green foods.

This recipe was made possible as part of a collaboration project with Get Joyfull and Alberta Pulse Growers.

Remi's green pea fritters

Green Pea Fritters with Chickpea Flour

  • 3 cups (750 mL) frozen green peas, divided

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • 3 large whole eggs

  • 1/3 cup (70 mL) ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup (125 mL) chickpea flour

  • ½ cup (125 mL) hemp hearts

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

Steam frozen peas for 3 minutes. Drain.

Add 1 ½ cups cooked peas, onion, and parsley to food processor, and pulse until smooth.

Transfer pureed pea mixture to medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, ricotta. Stir to combine.

Add baking powder, hemp hearts, and chickpea flour. Mix until batter forms.

Gently fold in remaining steamed peas for texture, and yumminess.

Heat pan to medium, and lightly coat with oil. Add dollop of batter into pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until fritter is golden, and fluffy.

TIPS

  • Substitute with rolled oats if you don’t have hemp-hearts on-hand. 

  • Cook fritters in a cast-iron skillet for added iron, and a beautiful golden crust.

  • Garnish with extra ricotta, or a poached egg and fresh pea shoots.