1537 Barrington Street, Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 1Z41.902.420.9626
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Scallop, Bacon, Asparagus and Spinach CarbonaraMany people love the classic combination of scallops wrapped with bacon. Some may call this a dated cliché appetizer, but not me. I think it is one of the most-beloved and legitimate pairings in our ingredient base here in Nova Scotia. However, you can play with the combination and create some new dishes that speak to a more modern palate. Pasta dishes like carbonara are incredibly popular in Italian restaurants here, but also quite simple to make yourself. This version is one that takes the famous Digby scallop, our excellent smokehouse bacon and two of our most commonly found spring vegetables and elevates them in a very non-traditional, “Nova Scotia meets Italy” comforting dish that I love.Salad NicoiseGreat year-round salads are often hard to find if you are focused on sourcing local ingredients — pickings are slim in winter and early spring. I love this salad because it is flexible throughout the year. When I can use fresh tuna, just seared and thinly sliced, with heirloom tomatoes and garden greens, great. In winter, canned tuna is usually in the pantry, and I use wonderful greenhouse hydroponic lettuces, tomatoes, and wintered fingerling potatoes. And of course, eggs are always fresh and available year-round. This salad makes a wonderful meal with some very good bread and a crisp white wine.Rhubarb Streusel MuffinsThis recipe was given to me by a close family friend. Finding different uses for rhubarb is a fun challenge, and these muffins are great for entertaining at a Sunday brunch. They are not too sweet and are made with wholewheat flour, bran and a relatively small amount of oil, yet they are moist and delicious. I have also made this recipe at other times of the year using fresh highbush Nova Scotia blueberries. The unique butter they are served with is simple to make, and most people have the staples in their pantry.Broccoli salad recipeMany versions of this classic salad can be found in delis, supermarkets and maybe in your mother’s recipe file. This one is very, very good and I can honestly say that I cannot make this as well as my mother.Heirloom Tomato SaladThis is undoubtedly my favourite salad. Heirloom tomatoes are locally produced, non-hybrid varieties that have not been commercially produced in large quantities. Using beautiful heirloom tomatoes in this salad adds tremendous colour and a sweetness that you do not get with most mass-produced tomatoes. This salad is inspired by the traditional Insalata Caprese of Italy.General Tao BaconCooking with bacon is a favourite activity for most Canadian chefs, and pork belly dishes are becoming more andmore common. What you are looking for from your butcher is a raw, uncured or smoked pork belly. Once braised,the meat is incredibly tender, and new flavours can be added. Inspired by a dish of General Tao chicken, the saucebelow has essences of ginger, sesame and garlic that work unbelievably well when glazed over the succulent pork belly. It is great as an appetizer with an Asian flavoured coleslaw, but if served with sticky rice it makes a fine main course as well.Finnan HaddieThe Scots who moved to Cape Breton introduced this chowder-like soup to Nova Scotia, and if you visit any pub in Scotland, you’ll still find this dish on the menu. Marie Nightingale wrote about finnan haddie in 1970, when Out of Old Nova ScotiaKitchens was first published. After several trips to Scotland and lots of “work-related” research, I created this version.Corn “Off the Cob” SoupThis soup takes a little work but it will convert any corn-chowder lovers. The intensity of the corn flavour is heightened by using the cobs to make the broth and by using cornmeal to thicken the soup. Essentially this is a very, very loose Italian polenta. Milk gives the soup a corn chowder essence, but for those with lactose concerns, it works equally well without. In early autumn fresh, locally-grown corn is available almost everywhere.Blueberry Red Fife Wheat PancakesIn Nova Scotia, spring is the season when maple syrup’s made, and once the syrup’s ready, a plate of warm pancakes isn't far behind. These pancakes start with Canadian Red Fife wheat and are stuffed with either fresh or frozen blueberries, then lightened with the tang of thick, local yoghurt and drizzled with syrup. Warming the maple syrup enhances the aromatics, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.For a wicked-good Nova Scotia meal, serve some breakfast sausages or bacon on the side.