Lunch was with another favorite cousin at a very chi-chi restaurant on Laurier in another wonderful area of Montreal that also has lots of restaurants and shopping and great architecture. Unfortunately his lovely wife and great kids were away or busy, so it was just the three of us. We ate at Lemeac on their terrace and before we even ordered we were presented with delicious chewy baguettes and some apricot preserves that tasted of walnuts.
My cousin and I each had this wilted spinach salad with Lardon(basically thick bacon) with French beans, other things and topped with a poached egg and cheese shavings. The presentation was so spectacular I took pictures from top and side.
Lunch done, it's time to move on to Jean Talon Market to get some fixings for dinner - BBQ at my cousin's. Now don't get me wrong, I love the markets in and around Toronto, but there is nothing that even remotely compares to this one. It sort of reminds me of Pike's Peak market in Seattle, except for the very enthusiastic fish mongers who sing while slinging fresh fish from water to stalls. It's all about presentation. I remember being awestruck by how the vegetables were lined up perfectly, almost color coordinated and the same holds true for Jean Talon.
So here is just some of the gorgeous bounty....
Wild blueberries or bleuets sauvages (even more exotic sounding) from Saguenay
Multicolored peppers, so pretty
The garlic at this vendor was on tables at least 15 feet long and stacked at least 3 feet high. I was in heaven.HUGE bunches of mint, basil and dill for pickling, just to name a few of my personal favorites.
Everything looked so good and it was hard not to get carried away. The truth...we were only there to get some salad fixings and some Heritage tomatoes my cousin had heard were amazing. We didn't find any, but here's what we did bring home...
Beautiful, sweet and juicy tomatoes, peppers for the grill, mixed cauliflower, huge purple onions, corn (hiding behind the herbs - mint & parsley) baby arugula/rocket, young romaine lettuce, local honey, great wine and right beside it a vase full of basil with their roots attached. Some mixed berries for part of the dessert.
The rest of the family would be over later so once we had all the ingredients we started on dinner. My cousin went out again to get Greek Yoghurt at one place, amazing steaks from La Queue de Cheval, Kwinter hot dogs and some salami from somewhere else.
And cooked perfectly over charcoal.
The salad was very simple - green young crispy, frizzy lettuce with mint, basil and parsley served with a champagne wine vinaigrette.
Hard to tell what's what, so....starting at the left - corn on the cob (picked that morning as was all the produce on the table). Corn and my lime & Cajun spice rub (everyone at least tried it), grilled peppers & onions (leftovers would be great with some balsamic vinegar added to a salad or chopped and heaped on toasted baguettes for a bruscetta), tomatoes slices drizzled with rice wine vinegar and fresh basil, mixed cauliflower with mustard seeds just because they looked too pretty to leave at the market, and last but not least baked potatoes. The star of course was the mixed grill - juicy steaks, tasty dogs and perfectly grilled salami slices.
Related links: Food and Drink Travel Recipes