I moved to the West End from Burnaby early this spring after beginning a new job downtown, and I have to admit, one of my favorite weekend activities throughout the summer has been to go to the farmer's market in Nelson Park on Saturday mornings (or sometimes early afternoons if it's been a late night). How wonderful it is having access to fresh from the farm produce and great locally made treats in the middle of one of Canada's largest cities is a luxury not lost on me.
One of my favorite stops at the market has not been a produce stand at all (although they are wonderful, of course!), but Maison Cote. You'll know it when you see the rows of sacs of flavoured salts, and the bottles of vinegars gleaming away. If you come in for a look, I assure you, you will be amazed by the variety and sheer drool factor.
And if that isn't enough to pull you in, you might be attracted to a charming french accent coming from the mastermind behind this flavourful selection. Let me assure you, Jean-Pierre is not only an incredibly sweet and charming fellow, but this guy is a food genius. Just ask him for some ideas of what to do with his products, and he will surely win you over in under two minutes.
Jean-Pierre sells a variety of flavoured salts (all natural ingredients like herbs, citrus, tomatoes, spices), spice rubs, seasoning herbs, flavoured oils and vinegars, mustards, cocoa, wine and vinegar jellies, and vanilla. To taste for yourself, find him at the market--his schedule is posted on the Maison Cote website, or head over to Edible BC on Granville Island where you can find his products year round.
Smoked Tuna Salad (Raspberry Rosemary Sea Salt, Half Pear)
- 3 fresh Bosc or Bartlett Pears
- 1 pkg. Butterfly Brand Smoked Tuna
- 1/2 can Iron Maiden Albacore Tuna
- 3 tbsp. of mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh dill
- juice of a 1/2 fresh lemon
- 5 tbsp of raspberry and rosemary sea salt, crushed fine
- In a medium bowl, take both tunas and flake with a fork. Add juice, dill and mayonnaise and mix together well.
- Cut each pear in half. Remove the core with a small spoon or melon baller until you get a cavity.
- Cut the bottom of the round part of the pear so it can sit flat on a plate. Dip the rim of the pear in the rapberry and rosemary sea salt and place onto serving plate.
- Divide tuna mixture into 6 and fill the pears with the tuna salad. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and a little sprinkle of sea salt.