Special Recipes from Julian Armstrong

Made in Quebec pic

Many thanks to Julian Armstrong, long time food writer for the Montreal Gazette for generously providing us with two recipes that incorporate the healthiest oil—olive oil. Both recipes are from the Spring chapter of her cookbook, Made In Quebec: A Culinary Journey, by Julian Armstrong (HarperCollins).

Tartare de saumon fume
(Smoked salmon tartare)

Down the road from the little restaurant called La Broue dans l’Toupet in the old fishing village of Mont-Louis on Gaspé’s north coast, you’ll find one of Quebec’s finest fish-smoking enterprises, Atkins & Frères.  Chef Daniel Gasse likes using their products in his cooking, in particular their Atlantic salmon and their mackerel and shrimp from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. You can reduce the smoked salmon flavour in this appetizer by replacing half of it with fresh, sushi-grade salmon.

Serves 4

  • 12 slices (250 g) cold-smoked salmon
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) capers, rinsed, patted dry
  • 2 peeled mandarin oranges or clementines, white filaments removed, in segments, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon quarters and capers
  • Baguette slices

Using a sharp knife, chop the salmon finely. In a salad bowl, combine salmon, dill, capers, mandarins, lemon juice and oil. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, pack tartare into four molds or ramekins (1/2 cup/125 mL each) and unmould onto four serving plates.

Trim plate with lemon quarters, and capers. Serve with baguette slices, toasted or grilled until crisp.

*Canned mandarin orange segments, sold in 284 mL cans (1 cup), may be substituted.

Salata Pashkalini
(Greek Spring Salad)

Menus at Montreal’s celebrated Greek restaurant Milos have been setting a standard for the city’s Greek chefs ever since Costas Spiliadis opened his cheerful blue-and-white taverna in 1979. Even when he is away supervising his other Milos restaurants (in New York, Athens, Las Vegas and South Beach, Miami), you find his mother’s cooking lives on at his original Montreal establishment.

Serves 8

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, or 2 small heads, leaves separated
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar, or 2 tablespoons (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 4 ounces (125 g) feta cheese, preferably Greek, rinsed, thinly sliced

Trim leaves of romaine, stack them up and slice them in thin strips. Place in a salad bowl with onions and dill, tossing to distribute.

In a cup, make dressing by whisking oil and vinegar together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, tossing to distribute. Arrange olives and cheese over the top of the salad.

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