Good things to eat

Foraging – Part III

And now the conclusion of the guest blog by my friend Jacquie as she shares with us her adventures in Foraging in the Laurentian Region of Quebec.

See the two previous days for Part I and Part II.

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Foraging – The Meal

Photo: J. Dinsmore

La Table des Jardins Sauvages not only serves excellent food but also lets you bring your own wine to drink before, during and after dinner.

Romping through the fields, across the river and through the woods searching for plants that soon all begin to look alike can make a person thirsty, so before we went in for dinner, we sat outside and opened the first of our bottles of wine. The air was warm with the setting sun and the only sound, besides the tinkle of wine glasses and the murmur of conversation, was the babbling river.

Our server came out to tell us that dinner was ready, and the four of us, along with another table of 5, filed into the cottage’s veranda-cum-dining room.

View from our table. Photo J. Dinsmore

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        Photo: J Dinsmore

The table was set with old-fashioned charm. The house bread is served with two compound butters: one flavoured with wild herbs and the other with dried boletus mushrooms. Delicious!

Starters

The hors d’oeuvre consisted of smoked wild salmon and a buckwheat crepe, with crinkleroot gribiche, pickled fiddleheads and daisy flower buds, and lady’s sorrel. The gribiche was smooth with a delicate taste and set off the salmon and crêpe nicely. The pickled elements and “salad” added a bright fresh note to the dish.

Next came soup, and what a treat! A delightful bowl of lobster bisque made with cattail (yes, cattail) broth surrounding 3 types of mushrooms (bolete, shaggy mane and, of course, lobster mushrooms) along with pieces of lobster. This delicious mix was topped off with garlic mustard leaf and sea parsley froth. The cattail broth was amazing with a wonderfully subtle flavour. The mushrooms added a lovely earthy note to the soup with the lobster mushrooms echoing the size and colours of the lobster pieces.

Lobster bisque with cattail broth. The restaurant makes use of all parts of the cattail plant in its various forms throughout the year. Photo: J Dinsmore

The next course was a slice of rabbit loin stuffed with stinging nettle, cheese and bee balm petals, rhubarb-onion chutney along with spelt risotto. The rabbit was tender and although we wondered about the cheese and stinging nettle, the stuffing was scrumptious. The chutney was tart and a perfect foil for the rabbit and its tasty stuffing.

Rabbit loin stuffed with stinging nettle, cheese and bee balm petals. Photo: J Dinsmore

Service was excellent throughout our meal and our server explained the dishes to us as she placed them on our table. The kitchen is small and staff minimal at La Table des Jardins Sauvages, so there was sometimes a wait between courses. But 1) the wait was worth it and, 2) we had a lively party and enough wine with us to make the wait thoroughly enjoyable.

The Main Event
Photo: J Dinsmore

Finally, after 3 bottles of wine, uncountable captivating dinner stories and non-stop laughter, our main course arrived: organic Muscovy duck supreme, venison-duck sausage, Jerusalem artichoke purée, wild salsify sprouts and elderberry five-spice pan sauce. The duck was beautifully cooked, tender and juicy with no hint of the fat that can sometimes ruin this dish. The gravy, marrying sweet elderberry and dusky Chinese flavours, was a bright surprise with a sweet and smoky taste. I had never had Jerusalem artichoke before and quite enjoyed it over the usual mashed potatoes.

Desert
Photo: J Dinsmore

We finished this wonderful meal with desert consisting of a chocolate and wild ginger baby cake, strawberry and spruce tip semi-freddo and granité. The cake was moist and chocolaty, with just a hint of ginger. A chocolate-lover’s dream. The semi-freddo was basically a decadently rich ice cream with a faint citrus taste from the spruce tips, topped with strawberry ice. It went extremely well with the ice-wine we had brought to finish off the meal.

It was late, and we still had a good hour drive back to Montreal, but we took a few minutes to check out the boutique in another part of the cottage. Here you can purchase many of the products you encountered in your meal, plus much more.

Photo: J Dinsmore

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Photo: J Dinsmore

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Thank you so much Jacquie for sharing your wonderful

food and foraging adventure with us!!

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Comments on: "Foraging – Part III" (8)

  1. Thank you Jacquie, that was wonderful.

    • Jacqueline Dinsmore said:

      Thanks, Duane. It was a lot of fun putting together and I loved the research ;o)

  2. Part 3 was the best: the food dishes! What a lovely shop they have too!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us all!

    • Jacqueline Dinsmore said:

      Thank you, Sophie! I hope to be able to share more adventures with you in the future.

  3. Very cool post! Wish I partook in your research adventure!

    • Jacqueline Dinsmore said:

      Yes, the research is lots of fun. Maybe sometime we can check something out together!

  4. Thanks again Jacquie for sharing your great adventure! You are most welcome to share any time!!

    • Jacqueline Dinsmore said:

      I’ve already got something in mind – I’ll let you know. Thanks for the invitation!

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