All posts filed under: Season

What’s In Season: Early Summer

Summertime is officially here and that means lots of new, bright, and fresh fruits and veggies will be making their appearance in our gardens and shopping carts once again. Early summer is marked by berry season here in British Columbia. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and Saskatoon berries have been bursting out of the ground (or are just on the cusp) and are as juicy and flavourful as ever! Plus, they taste WAY better than imported varieties from the USA or South America. In term of veggies, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, and rhubarb are all in season right now and are plump and fresh! We are currently still waiting on stone fruits like peaches, cherries, plums and apricots to come into season, which is typically in mid- to late July. Additionally, melon, grapes, squash and corn are well on their way! Check back next month for my guide to stone fruits- but for now, read on below to find out how to cook, store and buy the fruits and veggies that are available now! Strawberries: Strawberries are a …

What’s In Season: A Guide to Steak

There’s nothing like chilling outside in the sun with an iced drink, listening to some funky music, and grilling up a fantastic meal. Luckily, as temperatures rise and the days get longer, we inch closer and closer to these days that I live for. I really enjoy this slow-paced, relaxed and somewhat primal form of cooking as it’s quite different from my every day kitchen-bound cooking. You get to hear different sounds, smell different mouth-watering smells, and feel different textures and sensations. Plus, barbequing is relatively effortless. All you really need is some good, high-quality ingredients to start out with and the grill will take care of all that intense flavour building. To kick off the start of barbeque season, I thought I would provide a thorough overview of how to make the most popular barbeque food: steak. There are so many ways to cook a steak, but in my opinion, grilling the steak is your best bet at getting that delicious, juicy, beefy steak flavour. But before we get into the cooking methodology, it’s …

BC Spot Prawns with Bagna Cauda Butter

It’s that time of year again, people! Spot Prawns are back in season and they are more sweet, succulent and juicy than I remembered ❤ Spot prawn season typically begins in early May and lasts for about six to eight weeks. Spot prawns are delicious, sweet prawns that are orange in colour and have little white spots on their bodies, mainly around their heads and tails. They are harvested just off the coast of BC during the prawning season using baited traps and are the largest variety of prawns that are harvested in BC. The cold, nutrient rich waters of the BC coast make these prawns sweet, succulent and very clean in taste compared to the typical frozen Tiger Shrimp variety. The meat is very tender and juicy, and has the texture of both a lobster tail and a shrimp combined. Sounds amazing right?! A squeeze of lemon brings out all the fresh flavours in these BC Spot Prawns! Since the season is so short, I love to eat as much spot prawns as I …

Maltese Stuffed Artichokes

Of all the delicious spring vegetables that are in season right now, the gorgeous globe artichoke is one of my favourites. Not only do they taste amazing when cooked, I love the springy, flower-like look of them in general. When uncooked, the tightly packed, overlapping leaves on the artichoke looks like a budding flower, and then when it’s all cooked, the leaves open up and it looks like it has magically bloomed. So cute! If you have ever heard the saying “With every rose comes its thorns”, this definitely applies to the artichoke…almost literally. The most prized part of the artichoke is the heart. When cooked, it is soft, creamy and meaty and is definitely the reward of the vegetable. But in order to get to the heart, you have to get passed the prickly leaves and spiny thistle inside of it. At the center of the artichoke, there is a thistle called the “choke”. My grandma (who is Maltese) always used to say that if you ate the “choke” you would choke. I was …

What’s In Season: Spring

The start to the spring season has officially begun today and I couldn’t be happier! Pink, purple and yellow flowers have begun popping up all over the city and little lime green buds have been emerging from the trees- it’s a start of a fresh new season! Besides these tell-tale signs of spring, what I mostly look forward to this season is the wonderful new produce that is hitting the market shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter veggies, but there is only so much cabbage, kale and potatoes you can eat. Spring brings fresh salad greens, tender asparagus spears, crunchy radish and rhubarb, colourful chard, artichokes and refreshing herbs- all of which can brighten up any spring dish. What’s more is that these spring foods are delicate and tasty on their own , so you don’t have to do too much to them to make them taste good. Just keep it simple by tossing them into a salad, or steaming them quickly to enjoy as a side. Check out the fresh produce that …

Salt Spring Island Mussels with Ale-Cream Sauce

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! No matter if you are Irish or not, you can’t pass up this holiday without a beer or two. But rather than drinking it straight, why not cook with it? And if some local mussels, garlic, cream and lots of parsley end up in the mix, it’s all the better! Shortly after moving to the west coast, mussels became one of my favourite seafoods to eat. They are relatively inexpensive for seafood and can be cooked up in many different ways. I really enjoy the local Salt Spring Island mussels which are line-grown off the coast of Salt Spring Island, in the Strait of Georgia. The waters around Salt Spring Island are cold, incredibly clean and there is a high abundance of phytoplankton and microalgae- which the mussels love to eat. Because of this environment, the mussels are deep orange in colour and are consistently sweet and briny- truly the best I’ve ever had! Not only do these mussels taste amazing, they provide habitat to small fish as they grow …

Soup Series: Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

Just like I mentioned in my Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce post, I can’t seem to get enough of cauliflower these days. I love the dense and hearty texture of this cruciferous vegetable in the late fall and early winter. It just seems to really fill you up and keep you warm. Speaking of keeping you warm, you wouldn’t suppose this yummy veggie would keep you EXTRA warm in soup form? Hey, I’m looking for any heat I can get- it is the rainy season after all! So there it is, in all its cauliflower and garlicky glory, Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic soup! My partner and I had a version of this soup last spring at Artisan Eats Cafe on Bowen Island. It was so warm and comforting on this cold day, and that view was really amazing! I however, could have done without the semi-burnt toast and tons of cream in the soup. But from the first spoonful, I knew I had to make this at home! And clearly it was a very memorable …