It’s harvest time again in Montreal, the maple leaves have turned and leaf peepers crown the country roads on weekends, mixing with the trucks that bring the produce in to stock the cold rooms of the city’s top artisans. This is perhaps the season when our culinary uniqueness is the most obvious…
The thing is, we have the same crops here as do many cities in our latitude – mushrooms, greens, tomatoes, squash – and yet our chefs always find new and ever more appealing ways to showcase the season’s bounty. Here are five beautiful dishes that showcase the city’s harvest cuisine this fall.
Gaspesian crab cakes with creamed swiss chard and smoked cauliflower: Chef Martin Juneau at Pastaga invents unpredictable and suprising cuisine de terroir from the best local ingredients, even on a rainy Saturday brunch.
Tarte aux blettes: Speaking of chard, this tart was on offer – but not on the menu – recently at Foodlab, where chefs Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielese honoured Provence in a one-night-only menu. It’s a classic Provencal tart (blette is slang for chard) made from the unusual combo of chard, apples, and pine nuts. Keep your eyes peeled for more upcoming special events as Foodlab celebrates their one-year anniversary.
Crabapple sorbet: Martin Picard of Pied du Cochon fame has always had a wry sense of humour in his menus, especially for dessert. This tart and delicate crabapple sorbet is part of his Cabane à sucre (Sugar Shack) fall menu, that showcases apples especially. The special menu runs weekends until the end of October, and is sold-out except for a few seats that open on Thursdays. (Photo: Alexandra Forbes)
Fried green tomatoes: Though most Quebecois cooks prefer to make Ketchup Vert with their unripened tomatoes to go with fall-favourite Tourtiere, at Kitchenette they do it Southern-style, with a crunchy breading and sweet fresh cherry tomatoes as garnish.
Agnolotti with Girolles: At Lawrence Restaurant on St-Laurent as in many restaurants in Montreal, the menu changes weekly based on what’s in season. While not groundbreaking or headline-making, this subtle and delicate agnolotti with girolle mushrooms was comforting and pitch-perfect for lunch on a crisp fall afternoon.