Even on a rainy day it’s possible to find some fun outdoors. Last Sunday I went out to Barrie Hill Farms for their annual Strawberry Festival but the skies had another plan and rained us out. So lucky for me, the owner, Morris Gervais, aka Farmer Morris, had a wee bit of spare time and he was kind enough to take me around the farm to photograph some strawberries and peas while I pondered on this new dish.
Morris always has a big smile and going round the fields with him is such a treat because I can see how much he loves his work. His farm is very large and we drove a long ways through beautifully maintained fields before coming to the strawberries. I was joking to Morris that it felt like I was looking at the Red Carpet of farmers’ fields. Everything was so neat and tidy with no weeds – how does he do that??
The strawberry crop this year is so scrumptious and I’ve had fun making lots of dishes with them. I’m also on a fresh pasta kick these days so you’re going to see a strawberry/pasta recipe soon – I know – sounds a little odd but it was fabulous, I promise!
Those little guys are very hard to photograph! Next time I’ll bring my tripod and spend some more time getting better shots. We were lucky because we caught these shots between downpours and the berries and peas looked so lovely with raindrops on their leaves.
These visitors didn’t let the rain spoil their spirits or their berry picking plans!
I have to say that I am both surprised and delighted by my excitement with each trip to the farms. Looking at the produce in the fields, watching it being picked and boxed and then going directly into my grocery bag is simply the best! We snacked on fresh peas on the ride back to the main market area and the crunch and taste really inspired this dish.
We so often take our food for granted and when we drive through the country we absentmindedly glance at the miles and miles of farmland. But when you get the opportunity to explore the fields up close and see the endless hard work that goes into ensuring we get the best produce, it’s quite humbling. I truly appreciate this wonderfully fresh food and I’m so inspired to cook something new every single day!
My next stop was Nicholyn Farms where I picked up some green onions, fresh herbs and beautiful salmon and this simple, delicious dish was born. I’ll be spending some time with the owner, Lynda, next week and will share some pics of their beautiful farm with you.
I used pappardelle pasta with this and if you substitute another one, please use a broad noodle because the dish really demands it. There are not a lot of ingredients so I wouldn’t vary far from the recipe. What I love most is that the flavours are subtle yet the freshness makes it special.
This comes together in no time at all and please remember that you can use chicken or vegetable stock in place of white wine with no compromise in taste. Ohhh, one other little note. I like to roast my salmon but if you like you can cut it into bite sized pieces and add it during the cooking process to make the dish even simpler.
This is my new favourite pasta dish and I’m already planning to make it again next week. Cheers!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound dried pappardelle, cooked, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine (or substitute chicken or vegetable stock)
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
- 8 ounces salmon fillet, skin removed, brush with Asian chili sauce, salt and pepper it and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, more for garnish
- 1/2 lemon
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add snap peas, green onion and garlic. Stir often, until tender – about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the wine (or broth) and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the salmon, mint, dill, salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring gently to ensure the salmon doesn’t fall apart. (You can roast the salmon separately and add at the end if you prefer. Roast at 400 F for 12-15 minutes, let rest for 5 and cut into bite sized pieces).
- Add the pappardelle and toss gently with tongs.
- Garnish with fresh dill and mint. Squeeze juice from lemon over dish and serve.