28 Apple Recipes: the sweet and the savoury

When it comes to fall fruit in Quebec, apples reign supreme, from the early Jersey Mac to the late maturing Cortland.

A wide wooden bowl on my kitchen table holds an ever-rotating assortment of Honeycrisp and Sunrise – our favourites for munching – and the fridge drawer keeps Green Russets and Ginger Golds crisp for salads and slaws.

Local farms open their orchard gates and we are among the many Montrealers who flock through to pick apples. We make it an annual event, enjoy a picnic with the family amid the fall leaves, and stay until the sun dips and the children tire of running.

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Eat Seasonal: Harvest Tortilla Soup

My New Mexican living sister, Haidi, is my source for all my Southwestern cooking inspiration, from simple salsas to seasonal soups. This recipe is one of her creations that I’ve adapted for our family with great success.

From my experience, anyone who dip a spoon into a bowl of harvest tortilla soup is an instant fan, won over by either the slightly smoky chicken broth or the crispy fried tortilla strips that are heaped on top. Personally, I love that the soup contains a good amount of vegetables and they are all in season right now.

I hope you’re ready to get on board with autumn soups, because we happen to love them around here. Harvest tortilla soup needs to be ladled into bowls and enjoyed around your table this fall.

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Grilled Zucchini Salad with Hazelnuts, Feta and Yogurt Mint Dressing

Today my children go back to school, and I return to my desk as well to assume responsibility of my work life, both online and off.

As a closing note to the end of our carefree summer days – which were really and truly relaxing – I threw together a laid-back dinner on the weekend. My sister and brother-in-law had stopped by for a visit, so we put the baby to bed early, lit the coals on the kettle grill and opened a bottle of my favourite late-summer wine.

In a way, it was an intimate version of our harvest dinner which I host every August. My cookbook has more details and all the recipes from this annual backyard event, but essentially it is a slow dinner in the garden to celebrate the bounty of summer. It’s the one time of the year when I bring the white tablecloth and stemware outdoors –  a simple way to add elegance to a table with little effort.

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Grilled Green Onion & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chèvre

If you haven’t hit your grilling stride yet this summer, today’s recipe will be the incentive you need to fire up the coals.

Let’s see, I’ve prepare it two…three…four times already and each time I delight in the smoky sweet potato, charred green onions and the tangy goat cheese that finishes off the dish. A hint of maple syrup in the mustard dressing brings balance to the salad and a few zesty grilled garlic scapes add a touch of excitement.

Every summer I tend to get stuck on a particular grilled salad – last year it was with strawberries and asparagus, before that it was green beans and cherry tomatoes. This grilled green onion & sweet potato salad with warm chèvre is definitely my 2016 summer salad obsession.

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Savouring Strawberry Season – a recipe round-up

On a recent morning ramble, Clara and I found the first wild strawberries, a handful of tiny sweet gems that signaled the start of our glorious berry season. And on a day-trip to the country last Saturday, we saw no less than seven farm stands boasting ‘Fraises du Québec’, and I spent the next hour balancing several quarts of berries on my lap. After all, it’s not a legitimate weekend road trip until you hit up a roadside fruit stand, am I right?

Yes, mid-June is typically when local strawberries hit the markets here in Quebec, and we throw ourselves headlong into making the most of them. Soon the neighborhood U-pick will open its doors and we’ll ride the wagon along the dusty track to fill our baskets and pails with berries.

It’s a sweet season, and we savour the local strawberries in a multitude of ways from salads to ice cream. Even the hulls from the organic berries are rinsed and used to flavour water. Today’s post is a round-up of my favourite strawberry recipes and really showcases the true versatility of this June berry.

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