Yellow tulips with green accentsYellow and green tabletop Aren’t we ready for Spring? Trees will only start to blossom here around April and there is still plenty of snow on the ground, which is why in the meantime, I try to bring Spring indoors with bright colours and pretty vegetables. Here is the centrepiece I put together last week with tulips from Costco and some gorgeous artichokes. I served the rest of the artichokes alongside a delicious aioli recipe from Daniel Boulud’s latest cookbook, My French Cuisine. When I saw it at the bookstore, I could not resist the glossy cover with Boulud’s proud grin on display. He is one of my favourites and his recipes do not disappoint. While some are definitely not for beginners, there is plenty of material that can be adapted to the home cook.

Vegetable Aioli

Aioli with Vegetables (recipe adapted from Daniel Boulud’s My French Cuisine)

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Salt

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups canola oil

Instructions for the Aioli

Cut the garlic cloves in half and remove the germ. In a small saucepan, bring 6 halves of the garlic to a boil in cold water, then discard the water and repeat, cooking the garlic until tender the second time. Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and add the vinegar and a pinch of salt; crack the whole egg into a cup. Bring water to a simmer and slide in the egg. Poach for 2 minutes (the white will solidify but the yolk will remain runny). Transfer the poached egg to a blender or food processor and add the cooked garlic, the egg yolks, mustard, 3 tablespoons water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Blend well until combined. While the machine is still running, add the olive oil and then the canola oil in slow, steady streams. The sauce should emulsify, with a thick pale consistency similar to that of mayonnaise. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a bowl.

For the artichokes, remove 1 1/2 inch from the stem, peel the base with a paring knife and remove top leaves. Place the peeled artichokes in a large bowl of water to avoid oxidization. Boil in vegetable broth and a laurel leaf for added flavour, for about 20 minutes. Make sure they remain covered as they are cooking so that they do not oxidize. Cool and reserve in the fridge.

I also used other vegetables I had on hand, namely carrots, asparagus and green beans, but next time I will boil some new potatoes as Daniel suggests. I boiled these vegetables separately until tender. Once tender, place the vegetables in ice water, strain and dry on paper towels.

Tip: I reduced the amount of garlic in my adapted recipe from 4 to 3 cloves and cooked them all before putting in the blender. Daniel leaves 1 garlic clove raw in the original recipe. If you love garlic,do follow Daniel’s original recipe. I found the garlic to be overpowering. Besides that, the aioli turned out perfectly and we are still using the leftovers as dip with veggies, salmon etc.

Artichokes with garlic aioli, by Bake Bellissima

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  • This delicious marinated tomato recipe was adapted from Ludovic Lefebvre of Petit Trois restaurants in LA. It really takes tomatoes to a whole new level and is my new go to. It has unexpected ingredients that seem to work magic on the flavors. Try this marinade, you will not regret it, with burrata or goat cheese, hard boiled eggs, or even on avocado toast. Enjoy!  6 ripe tomatoes or approx 5-6 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
1/3 cup honey
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/4 scraped vanilla bean pod
salt, pepper to taste
Instructions

Place tomatoes in a heatproof glass container, cut side down. Add the basil to the tomatoes.
Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, honey, 1/4 scraped vanilla bean pod, and coriander seeds in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil.
Pour the boiling marinade over the tomatoes. Allow to cool to room temperature and marinate tomatoes in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Season with salt and pepper before serving.  #marinatedtomatoes, #easyrecipes, #mtlfoodies, #summerrecipes, #delicious, #bonjourcuisine
  • This dish is the perfect weeknight dinner the whole family will love. The secret to this wonderful salmon teriyaki recipe is tossing the salmon filets in cornstarch before cooking. It helps build a crust that the deliciously spicy sauce can really stick to. 
Ingredients

5 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tablespoons hot chili paste such as sambal oelek, or Thai chili paste. Adjust for desired spice level.
2 tablespoons honey
1 lb. skinless salmon cut into filets
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus more
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallions very thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, and honey.
Place salmon filets on a plate and season salmon filets with 1 teaspoon salt, followed by the cornstarch. Make sure the salmon filets are properly coated.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook salmon in a single layer, undisturbed, until nicely browned underneath, 2–3 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over salmon and continue to cook, gently turning salmon halfway through, until sauce is thickened slightly and clinging to salmon, about 1 minute. (Sauce will bubble when first added and will then calm down.)
Drizzle sauce from pan over salmon filets to serve, and top with scallions and toasted sesame seeds. #salmondinner, #salmonteriyaki, #kosherrecipes, #kosherfoodie, #easyrecipes, #30minutemeals
  • With a fridge full of leftovers, including white rice, some smoked meat and various veggies, I thought that a stir fry is a delicious way to combine all these separate elements, and use up some of those leftovers. I followed Sam Sifton’s technique from the New York Times and it always works like a charm. 
The ingredients and quantities below are only meant to be a guide, and don’t need to be followed exactly. It’s the technique that I think is wonderful: frying the beef in oil before cooking the veggies adds flavour to the stir fry, and cooking the eggs in the pan coats the rice with delicious flavour. This recipe can be adapted to any protein or veggie combo of your choice.  Ingredients:  1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cup Smoked meat, shredded or cubed (or other cooked protein)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, minced
1 cup broccoli florets, cooked
1 cup kale, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 cups white rice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or regular)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce (can also use teriyaki)
2 tbsp scallions, minced (for garnish)
Instructions

Start by heating a wok pan. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, I used a regular non-stick pan and it was perfect.
Warm vegetable oil, about 1-2 tablespoons at medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until crisped.
Fish the beef out of the pan, and reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining vegetables to the pan and cook till softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add the beef back into the pan.
Make a space in the middle of the pan for the eggs. Stir until cooked and mix with the vegetables and beef. 
Add the rice and the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, sesame oil and hoisin) and increase heat until all ingredients heated. Top with scallions and serve.
  • 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐢 𝐂𝐨𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐮𝐭 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐲, 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐨𝐮𝐭! This recipe comes together in minutes, and really feels like you are eating takeout! Delicious flavors going on here. You can replace mock-crab with either chicken or tofu, or another healthy protein! Try it and use #bonjourcuisine to share your pics📸

𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐢 𝐂𝐨𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐮𝐭 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐞: 
2-3 tablespoons 𝐯𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐢𝐥
2 lbs 𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐤-𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐛
1 small yellow 𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻, minced
1 clove 𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗹𝗶𝗰, minced
𝘀𝗮𝗹𝘁 and 𝗽𝗲𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗿 to taste
2 tablespoons 𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗯𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲*
2 teaspoons 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗱𝗲𝗿
1/2 teaspoon 𝗰𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗻
1 can 𝗰𝗼𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗸
1 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗲, cut into wedges
1/2 cup fresh 𝗰𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼, chopped
1 tablespoon 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, optional
Cooked 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲, for serving 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mock-crab and saute, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove onto a plate. 
Add more oil to the pan if necessary, and cook onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. 
Add the curry paste, curry powder, and cumin to the pan. Cook until spices start to be fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add the coconut milk and allow the sauce to simmer over medium heat. Return the mock-crab to the pan, and cook for 2 more minutes to allow flavors to combine. Serve the curry with rice and top with cilantro or minced scallions, and a good squeeze of lime. *Curry paste: use this easy recipe if you don't have this paste at home: - 3 red chilies or 2-3 teaspoons Thai chilli sauce
-1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper

Remove seeds and stems from chilies and soak in warm water for 10 minutes. In the meantime, place remaining ingredients in a food processor. Drain the peppers and add them to the processor. Mix into a paste, making sure to scrape the sides to incorporate. This paste will keep for one month in the fridge, or o1 year in the freezer.  #easy, #bonjourcuisine, #coconutcurry, #30minutemeals
  • Shabbat shalom to all!!