Today is Food Day Canada. A day where everyone across Canada is encouraged to cook with food as close to home as possible.
In other countries this seems like an odd idea, but in Canada our multiculturalism creates an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, it adds richness to our cultural fabric as a nation, but on the other hand it creates an environment of people looking outward for inspiration.
For example, I’ve written about Moroccan and Indian influences in the last week and my father’s background was Hungarian. It’s become a balance that Canada has had to try to achieve in its young history. This permits access to ingredients like North African harissa on one grocery store shelf and soy sauce or garam masala on another.
The spirit of Food Day Canada is to look closer for wonderful ingredients and find balance with that multicultural influence. I tend to take this approach in my everyday cooking so it was a fun way to incorporate the latest beautiful ingredients in another salad in my #summerofsalads series.
Ale-Braised Broad Bean Salad with Peaches & Blackberries
For the Ale-Braised Broad Beans:
1 cup shelled and peeled fresh broad beans
2-341mL bottles amber ale (or other deep flavoured beer, ale or stout)
In a medium pot, heat one bottle of ale over medium heat until it gently simmers. Add the broad beans, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Place the other bottle of ale in a medium bowl with a few ice cubes (I know, no one adds ice to beer, but it’s to shock the cooking process so the beans don’t overcook. Plus it fixes the green colour and maintains the ale flavour you just braised into it). Add the braised broad beans to the iced-ale bath. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
Strain the beer away and reserve the beans. (Ok, drink the beer even if there was ice in it. Waste not want not!)
For the salad:
2 peaches, pitted and chopped into 2cm/1″ chunks
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp cold pressed flax oil
Reserved Ale-Braised Broad Beans
In a large bowl, gently combine the peaches, blackberries, broad beans and fresh thyme. Divide over two plates and lightly drizzle with flax oil. Serves 2.
For today, I used wonderful product from the following farmers and small producers in and around Edmonton, Canada: