A few weeks ago, I visited my best friend in Montreal for my Fall break. For the second year in a row, I fell head over heels for this city (minus the cold). For the second year in a row, I was amazed by all that it has to offer (food included!).
For starters, I was conveniently there for Canadian thanksgiving. Since I had only ever celebrated the American one, it was exciting to compare the two. We got together and cooked ourselves a delicious Friendsgiving, and let me tell you it was one for the books! First difference was the bird: no turkey on our menu… Instead, we went for Peruvian-style chicken from rotisserie Romados, which is apparently a Montreal institution. We roasted potatoes on the side and served them with a maple vinaigrette salad (Montreal-style!). Finally we ended on a sweet note for dessert, with warm homemade apple crumble. Speak of my kind of holiday!
In addition to Canadian thanksgiving, I also crossed Fairmount Bakery‘s Montreal-style bagels off my list. As a die-hard fan of NY bagels, I needed to try these to settle, once and for all, the great bagel controversy. First off, these were smaller, thinner and sweeter than their NY counterpart. Their light sweetness coming from the honey-flavored water in which they are typically boiled, before being baked in a wood-fired oven. Toppings-wise, the two were similar (everyone’s favorite was sesame but poppy was a close second)! Texture, on the other hand, differed quite a bit. Montreal ones were denser than NY’s, which made for an interesting bite. I thought they were absolutely perfect for breakfast, toasted and slathered with salted butter. Now, I don’t think a comparison with NY ones is warranted, as they aren’t used for the same purposes. One wouldn’t really make a sandwich out of a Montreal one… So all-in-all they’re both great, but for different occasions!
Last but not least, I completely rediscovered “Poutine” (a.k.a. their national dish) at a little place called Hippi Poutine. Fries and Gravy and Cheese, oh my! Though the traditional recipe exclusively consists of this trio, Hippi Poutine puts a twist on it. Their poutine-centric menu offers plenty of options with a variety of toppings. Counter-intuitively, this dish feels less “heavy” (relatively so…) when you add ingredients beyond the core trio. I went for the “Madrid,” which had chorizo, peppers and tomatoes. It was so delicious that I almost finished it… an achievement I would’ve never dreamed of with an originial poutine.
As you can see, this trip was rich in food experiences! So my friend decided to prepare us lunch on the lighter side to detox. This recipe resembles salmon ceviche, but with a longer marinating time during which the fish almost cooks in the lemon juice. It was so good that I had to make my own version at home when I got back! I then obviously had to share it with you all so that you could try it at home.
This is the kind of lunch you should prepare a day ahead and just dress up minutes before serving. It’s so fresh and tasty that you forget the “prep work” was done the day before. For the sauce, the Meyer lemon brings a subtle sweetness – with light notes of orange – complemented by the ginger. Surprisingly, it’s not acidic at all though the fish is soaked in lemon juice overnight. I also added a touch of grapefruit to strengthen the dish’s citrusy flavor and cut through the fattiness of the avocado and salmon. Overall, it’s a perfect balance of tastes and textures, when you add the slight crunch of baby greens. I think I’ve said enough, so I’ll let you run and prepare it tonight. I promise you’ll thank me tomorrow around lunchtime. Bon appétit!
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1 wild salmon filet (highest quality you can find, avoid farm-raised)
- 1/2 avocado
- 3 ruby grapefruit wedges
- a handful of sprouts/baby greens (I used a baby kale and sunflower blend)
- 1 green onion
- 1 piece of fresh ginger (size of a 1/2 thumb)
- 1 meyer lemon
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- a few cilantro sprigs
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- sesame seeds (optional)
- The night before: Dice the salmon filet into small cubes. Toss them in an airtight tupperware with the juice and zest of a freshly squeezed Meyer lemon, some salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, prepare the salad. Dice the avocado half into small cubes, mince the green onion and the cilantro, and peel the grapefruit wedges to get little bits of pulp.
- In a bowl, toss the baby greens, avocado, onion and grapefruit. Top with the salmon, but keep the juice in the tupperware.
- Finally, make the ginger-lemon dressing. Add the olive oil and rice vinegar to the tupperware. Grate/puree the ginger into it, and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and garnish with some sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
“Ceviche de Saumon Sauvage en Salade, Vinaigrette Citron-Gingembre”
Temps total: 20 minutes
- 1 filet de saumon sauvage (de bonne qualité, si possible pas d’élevage)
- 1/2 avocat
- 3 tranches de pamplemousse rose
- une poignée de jeunes pousses
- 1 oignon vert
- 1 morceau de gingembre (taille d’1/2 pouce)
- 1 citron Meyer
- 1/2 c.s d’huile d’olive
- 1 c.c de vinaigre de riz
- quelques feuilles de coriandre
- sel de mer & poivre noir fraichement moulu
- graines de sésame (optionnel)
- La veille: Coupez le filet de saumon en petits cubes. Mettez-les dans un tupperware avec le zeste et jus fraichement pressé d’un citron Meyer, du sel et du poivre. Réfrigérez pendant la nuit.
- Le lendemain, préparez la salade. Découpez l’avocat en cubes, émincez l’oignon et la coriandre, et pelez les tranches de pamplemousse de façon à faire des petits morceaux de pulpe.
- Transférez le tout, ainsi que les jeunes pousses, dans un bol. Ajoutez les cubes de saumon par dessus, mais gardez le jus/zeste dans le tupperware.
- Enfin, préparez la vinaigrette citron-gingembre. Versez l’huile d’olive et le vinaigre de riz dans le tupperware, et ajoutez-y le gingembre râpé/en purée. Fermez et mélangez énergiquement avant de gouter et d’ajuster l’assaisonnement avec du sel/poivre.
- Versez la vinaigrette sur la salade et garnissez avec les graines de sésame et la coriandre. Bon appétit!