Today is Canada Day. The day that the initial European settlers decided to form a new nation independent of British rule. We parted in a more amicable way than our American neighbours. We said, “We’ll give you a symbolic head of state title if we can do our own thing.” So 147 years ago, we became a new nation.
Canada was a great land for centuries before Europeans decided to amalgamate several disparate regions. Many nations of aboriginal people lived harmoniously with nature. Taking what they need. Using everything they took and only warred with each other when there were stressful times. Another nation had more food, better natural cover against the elements. The basics of survival.
Canada, in the Iroquois Nation’s language, meant village. A small community that supports each other. We built our country on this foundation as a community and over the decades added the diversity that a welcoming village brings.
I thought of this diversity and the foundation of the aboriginal staple food, bannock, as a way to honour Canada and it’s growing diversity. Today’s salad is a twist on a taco salad with the aboriginal frybread, bannock, as the base of which to grow, adding elements of other cultures that have grown Canada into the diverse community it is today.
O Canada Bannock Taco Salad:
For the bannock:
In a medium bowl, combine the red fife flour, baking powder and salt until uniform. Add the milk and stir until a thick batter forms.
Gradually work in the spelt flour until a soft dough forms. Sprinkle the counter with another few tablespoons of flour and knead the dough until soft. Split into 4 pieces and form into an oblong oval shape about 5cm(2″) x 15cm(6″) in size.
Preheat oil in a wok or large pot. When a thermometer reads 190C/360F, add the prepared bannock, one at a time and fry on one side until golden (about 3-4 minutes). Flip with a pair of tongs and fry for a further 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining bannock and set aside.
For the Spicy Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy:
1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
4 Sparrow’s Nest Organics spring onions, finely chopped
1 Doef’s Greenhouses, fresh red chilli, chopped
1/2 cup Peas On Earth baby bok choy stems
1 cup Peas On Earth baby bok choy leaves
In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the white parts of the spring onion, red chilli and baby bok choy stems. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the baby bok choy leaves, a pinch of salt and 2-3 Tbsp of water. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until the leaves wilt and the water absorbs and evaporates. Take off the heat and toss in the green part of the spring onions. Set aside.
For the salad:
4 Sunshine Organic Farm spicy Italian sausages, grilled over high heat for 7-10 minutes or until deeply golden and cooked through.
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1/2 cup Hungarian Turos cheese (to make your own click here, or use ricotta)
HP Sauce (if you aren’t a part of the British Commonwealth, it’s a sweet and tangy condiment from the UK used much like ketchup in the US. A good all purpose condiment on eggs, sausages, etc)
Reserved Spicy Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy
Place a prepared bannock on four plates. Top the bannock with grainy mustard, spreading it along the length of it. Top with some prepared Spicy Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy, a grilled Italian sausage, a bit of HP sauce and a crumbling of Turos cheese. Serves 4 meal-sized salads. You could divide the dough into 8 portions and slice the grilled sausages and stretch this recipe to serve 8 as a starter portion.
Happy Canada Day!!