Potato and Wild Leek Gratin

8 05 2009

 

Wild Leeks - also known as ramps - at the market

Wild Leeks - also known as ramps - at the market

 

The season for wild leeks (aka ramps) is in full swing at the moment.  These delicious, pungent plants taste like a mix of onion and garlic.  They are becoming increasingly popular as cooks discover their unique flavour and versatility.  Ramps can be cooked in countless ways including in soups, roasted, grilled, sautéed or pickled.  They won’t be available much longer so seek them out soon if you’d like to give them a try.  They can be found throughout Eastern Canada and the U.S. and are very popular in West Virginia.  Check with farmer’s market or independent grocers – large supermarket chains are not likely to have them.

This gratin is a great way to try ramps for the first time.  They add a unique flavour to the dish but green onions and garlic can be used if you can’t find ramps.

Click here to check out the recipe on Suite 101:  Potato and Wild Leek Gratin.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

Potato and Wild Leek Gratin

Potato and Wild Leek Gratin





Roasted Asparagus Lasagna

6 05 2009

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As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been working on some new spring recipes with all the great local produce I’ve been getting at the market.  Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables and during its brief season each spring I go a bit nuts and eat it almost every day.  Sometimes I simply steam it and serve with a squeeze of lemon and a little butter.  Other times I roast it with a bit of olive oil or a citrus vinaigrette. This lasagna takes roasted asparagus to a whole new level.  It’s a rich and indulgent vegetarian dish that will even appeal to the most die-hard carnivores.

Click here to check out the recipe on Suite101.com: Roasted Asparagus Lasagna

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna with Salad

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna with Salad





Frozen Mango Margaritas

5 05 2009

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo (“Fifth of May”) is a day for celebrating Mexican heritage. For those of us who are not Mexican, it’s still a great excuse to whip up some margaritas and break out the chips and salsa.  We happen to be in the middle of mango season right now so why not celebrate with some mango margaritas?  They are simple to make and quite delicious, especially when paired with your favourite Mexican snacks like guacamole.

There are a number of different types of mangoes available at the supermarket, including hadens, altaulfos and alphonsoes. Hadens are a popular choice but you can choose whichever kind looks ripest.  To learn how to easily peel and dice mango, check out these helpful step-by-step instructions: How to Cut a Mango.

Frozen Mango Margaritas

Makes 4 servings

  • Fruit from 3 ripe mangoes (about 2 cups of fruit)
  • Juice from one small lime, about 1 oz.
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • Sea salt or other coarse salt for the rim of the glasses (optional)
  • Orange or lime slices for garnish (optional)
  1. Put mango, lime juice, ice, tequila and triple sec into a blender.  Puree on high for about one minute or until all ice is broken up and the margarita is smooth.
  2. If using salt for the glass rims, place salt on a small plate.  Moisten the rim of each glass and dip the edge into the salt, turning the glass until the rim is evenly coated.  
  3. Pour drinks into margarita glasses, martini glasses or tumblers and garnish with fruit slices if desired.

Enjoy!





Fiddleheads, Asparagus and Ramps – Oh My!

4 05 2009
The very first local produce to hit the market: asparagus, ramps (wild leeks) and fiddleheads - May 1, 2009

The very first local produce to hit the market: asparagus, ramps (wild leeks) and fiddleheads - May 1, 2009

It’s official – there are local vegetables in the markets again! (at least in Toronto). While folks in California, Florida or other southern areas may not quite understand the significance of this, for those of us who are buried under snow five or six months of the year, it’s exciting news.  I’ve been busy at work testing some new recipes to share with you.  The change of season is reinvigorating and inspiring and I have a lot of fresh ideas for delicious ways to use the fruits and vegetables I’m seeing at the markets.  Check back often for ideas and mouth-watering recipes!

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Ontario fiddleheads were available for $7.99 a pound at the market last Friday. Fiddleheads are a tasty vegetable and can be found in many markets in Eastern Canada and the Northeast U.S.  If you’ve never had them, give them a try if you can find them.  This Asian-style salad is easy to prepare and makes a great side dish or starter to a spring meal.  Check out my article on Suite 101.com for the recipe and more fiddlehead information:

Fiddlehead Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette (the vinaigrette is also delicious with steamed asparagus or sautéed snow peas).

Fiddlehead Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Fiddlehead Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Visit these pages for more on asparagus and ramps:

Potato and Wild Leek Gratin

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!