Harvest Recipes

The morns 
 are meeker 
than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

— Emily Dickinson

It may be September, but we are not yet tired of tomatoes or summer squash, or any fresh vegetable right out of the garden. We want something more substantial than salad for dinner, but aren’t quite ready for the root vegetables and hearty stews of winter. We asked some of our favourite chefs for recipes to make during the warm days and crisp nights of the shoulder season.

Pear carpaccio, with wild arugula, roasted walnuts and moliterno

“We use Okanagan walnuts for this antipasti and they are delicious. Shelling them is tedious but it is worth the effort. Moliterno is a sheep (pecorino) cheese from Sardinia, which is lavished with black truffles. If you cannot find Moliterno use another aged/sharp Italian sheep cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano.” Daniel Costa, Corso 32.

  • 3 ripe pears (Bartlett or Bosc)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ c shelled roasted walnuts
  • Moliterno
  • 4 handsfuls wild arugula
  • extra virgin olive oil (we are using Lorenzo No.1, D.O.P. Valli Trapanesi*)
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Roast the walnuts on a baking pan at 375ºF for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Thinly slice the pears with a sharp knife or mandolin. Spread the pears on 4 plates, drizzle a little lemon and olive oil over the pears, season with salt.

Toss the arugula with a little more lemon, olive oil and salt. Place a few leaves on each plate. Shave a few pieces of Moliterno over the carpaccio with a peeler. Top with roasted walnuts, more olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

*From Sicily, available at the Italian Centre Shop.

Grilled summer vegetable salad

“This recipe came from what our veg suppliers have this time of year — colourful little summer squash, small potatoes perfect to leave whole and the second crop of radishes.” Cindy Lazarenko, Highlands Kitchen

  • 1 lb summer squash, zuchini, yellow crookneck, pattypan, cut into thick slices (we use Sparrow’s Nest)
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2-3 peppers red, orange and yellow cut into wide strips (we use Gull Valley)
  • ½ lb small potatoes (we use Greens, Eggs and Ham almonds or rosy reds)
  • 1 T fresh thyme or marjoram or both
  • extra virgin olive oil 
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Boil potatoes in a large amount of salted water until almost tender.Transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 T of the fresh herbs, oil and salt and pepper. Toss squash, peppers and radishes with the same.Turn barbecue on medium-high and grill vegetables until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and toss with vinaigrette.


  • 1 lemon, juice and zest (3 T of juice, or so)
  • 2 T minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 T or so fresh thyme or marjoram or both

Whisk, then gradually add ¼ c extra virgin olive oil plus 2 T. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add cherry tomatoes (halved) and a sprinkle of feta if desired.

Serve warm or cold.

Grilled baby bok choy with cauliflower antipasto

“Peas on Earth is an organic vegetable farm just on the northern edge of Edmonton. The passion and hard work of Eric and Ruby really shines through in their vegetables, which is why I love to use them so much. Bok choy is one of their signature vegetables and with the beautiful color and flavour of the cauliflower, I just knew I had to put them together in one dish.” Blair Lebsack, Rge Rd.

  • 4 baby bok choy (cut in half)
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 fresh cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic

Blanch bok choy in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and drain. Thinly slice onion, cut cayenne pepper in half. Put sauté pan on medium-high heat and add canola oil. Add onion, cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and remove from heat. Allow to infuse while cooling a bit.

On barbecue or grill, lightly brush bok choy with the spicy oil. Grill on high heat for 2 minutes per side, remove and toss bok choy and onion mixture together. Reserve.

Cauliflower antipasto

  • ¼ head each of colored cauliflower (two colours)
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms (or beech)
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 3 T first press canola oil
  • 1 T chopped lemon balm

Cut off smallest florets possible from heads of cauliflower. Blanch cauliflower in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and cool immediately. Roast red pepper, shallots and finely chop with green onion. Toss all ingredients in vinegar, oil and lemon balm. Season with salt and pepper and allow to marinate for at least hour.

To plate: put 2 pieces of grilled bok Choy on each plate and top with cauliflower antipasto.

Enjoy as a side dish or vegetable course for lunch or dinner.

Pumpkin gnocchi with puree of spinach, aged kitskoty pecorino and pine nuts

“Making gnocchi with pumpkin is fun and a little bit different. People underestimate the versitility of the pumpkin.” Tracy Zizek exec chef/co owner, Cafe de Ville


  • 1 pumpkin weighing about 2 lbs
  • ½ t grated nutmeg
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t white pepper
  • 2¾ cflour
  • The Cheesiry’s Kitskoty pecorino for garnish
  • toasted pine nuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 400ºF degrees. Bake pumpkin whole for about 1 hour 45 minutes until a sharp knife can be inserted with ease. Allow to cool until the pumpkin can be handled. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Scoop out flesh and puree in robot coupe or food processor. Place puree into a large bowl. Add seasonings and flour and mix by hand. The dough will be quite sticky still. Flour countertops and hands. Take small parcels of dough and roll to the thickness of your index finger. With a floured sharp knife, cut into small bite sized sections.If the dough is too sticky to work with, you can add more flour if desired, but keep in mind that the more flour added to the dough, the more dense and heavy they will be.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and put gnocchi in. Cook for roughly 5 minutes or until al dente.

Spinach purée

  • 1 sml bag fresh spinach
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ c white wine
  • 1 T butter
  • 1-2 T heavy cream
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Sauté onion and spinach in butter until most of the moisture has left the pan. Purée in blender. Season. In a separate pot add white wine and reduce by ¼. Add spinach purée and simmer until a sauce-like consistency is reached. Finish by whisking in cream. Take off heat.

To serve: after gnocchi has been boiled and drained, heat a large pan with olive oil. Place gnocchi in pan and fry until golden. Add spinach purée and toss to coat gnocchi. Place in pasta bowl. Grate the Cheesiry’s aged pecorino over, and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Serves 6

Pan seared arctic char with sautéed brussels sprout leaves, cipollini puree, buerre blanc and burnt chives

“I was inspired by char on recent trips to Vancouver—great flavor and it’s easy to cook at home. The chardonnay makes for an amazing finish for the butter sauce.” Shane Chartrand, L2 Grill

  • 4 filets char (both fresh and salt water, easy to attain as well as Oceanwise)
  • 8-10 fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 10-12 small to medium young cipollini onions, peeled
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 12 fresh chives
  • ¾ c unoaked Chardonnay
  • 1 c butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Linen smoked sea salt (or your favourite finishing salt)

Place the peeled onions in the stock and gently simmer to tender.

Remove the Brussels’ leaves from the bulb, leaving the centre of the bulb behind (this is the chalky center that you tend to get the bitter flavor from. If you want to use it up, you can put the hearts in with the onion). Place chives in a dry pan and cook at a very high heat on a burner, until they begin to turn very dark, flip over gently. Once dark on both sides, they will look almost burnt, remove and set aside. Purée the onion and season, adding butter, salt and pepper. Reserve. Sear the fish skin side down, then gently flip. Turn down the heat, and add butter and wine. Tilt the pan and spoon the butter onto the fish as if you are basting it (this butter and wine will be your sauce so be careful not to have too much heat or it will separate. If it does split, add a bit more butter, mix in separately and re-season).Sautée the Brussels leaves gently at medium heat. Season. Dollop the onion puree onto a white plate using the tip of a large soup spoon. Gently place aside your Brussels sprout leaves and finish with the char. Spoon your butter sauce over the fish, lay your burnt chives on top and sprinkle a touch of finishing salt on the fish for a beautiful finish.

Roast pork loin with alberta caponata

“A roast pork dinner signals the end of the summer and is one of our family favourites. Caponata is a Sicilian dish, basically a sweet and sour vegetable stew served with the meat course. My wife Leanne makes an Alberta version to go with the roast pork.” Brad Smoliak, Brad Smoliak Cooks

  • 1 rack pork loin, allow 1 bone per person
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • rosemary sprigs

Make little slits in the pork loin and stuff with the rosemary and garlic cloves. Season well, and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Roast in a 300ºF oven until the internal temperature is 120ºF, rare. Remove from oven, turn oven up to 450ºF and then put roast back in oven and cook till 140ºF. Rest the roast for 15-20 minutes before carving. Note: the meat will come up about 10 degrees while resting.

Alberta caponata

  • 2 c diced carrots
  • 2 c diced turnips
  • 2 c diced parsnips
  • 2 c diced onions
  • Canola oil
  • ½ c water
  • ¼ c dried cranberries
  • ¼ c diced apples
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T Jam Lady Hot Carrot Glaze (or honey)
  • kosher salt, pepper
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T chopped rosemary, thyme, sage or combination

Heat a large sauté pan, add canola oil, add the vegetables and toss well, cook over medium heat till lightly brown. Add water and cook until vegetables are tender — you may need to add more water. Once vegetables are tender, turn up the heat, and crisp the vegetables. Add cranberries, apples, red wine vinegar and glaze/honey, season with salt and pepper. Finish with the butter and fresh herbs. All can be done ahead of time and reheated to serve.

Serves 6.

Jenny’s cherry pie

“We have an Evans cherry tree that is super abundant. I like to make pie and serve it with Smoky Valley chèvre. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of my-pants cook and don’t follow a written recipe, but this is how I do it.” Jenny Berkenbosch, Sundog Farm

  • 5-6 c pitted Evans cherries
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 T cornstarch

Mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Stir the sugar mixture into the cherries so they are evenly coated. Roll out one pie crust (recipe follows) so that it will overlap your pie plate by 4-5 inches. Lay it into your plate with the extra dough trailing over the edge. Fill with the cherry mixture.

Gently lift the extra dough over the cherries so that you have a partial top formed from the bottom crust. Pinch together the pleats and, if needed, seal them with a touch of water. Brush the top with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes in a 350ºF oven, keeping an eye on the crust for over browning. Serve with a spoonful of Smokey Valley chèvre sweetened with some honey.

Grandma Aarsen’s pie crust

  • 5 c flour
  • 1 lb butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 3 t vinegar
  • 1 c cold water

Cut butter into flour until mixture is crumbly. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently until mixed, but not over mixed. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Freeze or refrigerate what you don’t need. Makes 4 generous crusts.