Mushroom-Wild Rice Cottage Pie

Commonly known as Shepherd’s Pie, this twist on a cottage pie includes rich mushroom and flavourful, nutty wild rice. Add tempeh, kidney beans, or crumbled tofu after the rice cooks, if desired.

ST - cottage pie - preparing

Mushroom-Wild Rice Cottage Pie

For the potatoes:
Salted water, to cook potatoes
6 to 8 medium yellow-flesh potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/2 cup mushroom broth (below)

For the filling:
1 .5oz/14g package dried porcini mushrooms
5 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 pounds (680g) cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 turnips (not rutabaga), peeled and finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 cup wild rice
3 tablespoons roasted cashew butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste

For the potatoes, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, mushrooms, celery, carrots, and turnips. Cook until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and sage, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes longer.

Strain the mushroom liquid into the pot with the vegetables, reserving 1/2 cup. Rinse the mushrooms and finely chop, adding them to the pot. Add the rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook 40 minutes. Stir in cashew butter and tomato paste. Let cook an additional 10 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, drain the potatoes. Add the olive oil and reserved broth. Mash well. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Once the mixture on the stove top is finished, carefully pour it into a 9×13 casserole dish. Spread with the potatoes. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the potatoes start to brown and become crispy. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

ST - cottage pie - finished

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

They’re perfect for cobblers, ideal for eating out of hand, and taste great on the grill, but thinking outside the culinary box lets golden plums shine in a savory salad featuring local, seasonal ingredients.

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula 1

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

For the salad ingredients:
2 pounds (908g) fingerling potatoes, any colour
2 tablespoons (30mL) good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (120mL) fresh savory, lightly packed and chopped
1 1/2 pounds (681g) shiro plums, cut into quarters
1/2 cup (120mL) chopped pecans, toasted
4 ounces (113g) arugula

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons (45mL) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30mL) cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60mL) good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the potatoes in half length-wise—if they are large, cut them in half width-wise, as well. Toss with the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of the savory. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, under crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Set aside to cool.

Once the potatoes have come to room temperature, put them in a large bowl. Add the remaining savory, the plums, pecans, and arugula. Toss to combine.

To make the dressing, put the maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard in a small container. Whisk well to combine. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on the salad, using as much or little as desired. Let stand about 1 hour. Enjoy at room temperature.

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula 2

Cocoa-Crusted Potato Wedges with Garlicky Tahini Dipping Sauce

I love using unsweetened cocoa in savory applications, and when combined with Mexican-inspired seasonings, it reminds me of mole. The dip is delicious on anything, and to use it as a dressing, dilute with a little water and adjust lemon, salt, and garlic to taste.

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COCOA-CRUSTED POTATO WEDGES WITH GARLICKY TAHINI DIPPING SAUCE

For the potatoes:
6 medium-sized baking potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oi
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste

For the dipping sauce:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Water to thin

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss potatoes with the olive oil, then spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and a few dashes of salt. Toss the potatoes with the mixture until well-coated. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are crisp and browned on the outside and tender on the inside.

While the potatoes are in the oven, begin making the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cooking, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the tahini and lemon, adding water to get to a dipping sauce consistency. Reduce to a simmer and heat through, adding salt to taste. Serve with the potatoes.