Gourmandistan

Sooke and Salad

Salad with flowers

Steve recently celebrated a milestone birthday, and Michelle magnificently arranged for a semi-surprise trip to British Columbia. (It was a “semi-surprise” because Steve was planning on a May baby chick delivery, and needed to be told in advance that the first week wouldn’t be the best choice.) We tremendously enjoyed the entire trip from Vancouver to Victoria by way of Tofino, especially the view from our room at the latter’s Wickaninnish Inn.

TofinoTofino sunset

Who wouldn’t love a thrilling floatplane adventure and the sight of gigantic old growth trees and rushing streams meeting the cold Pacific?

Tofino plane ride

Predictably, amid the (to us) alien temperate rainforest landscape, we focused on our food.  Vancouver found us circling the new, suburban Chinatown in Richmond—visiting several different dim sum palaces, various Asian shopping mall food courts and the best haute Cantonese restaurant we’ve ever encountered.  Tofino had us grooving with well-presented local seafood in upscale surfer surroundings at the edge of the continent. And the trip concluded at that temple of locavore dining, Sooke Harbour House outside Victoria. The plates at every Sooke Harbour meal are adorned with edible flowers from the inn’s extensive gardens, the soups were especially lovely and we wish that more British Columbia wines and ciders would make their way to the United States.

Returning to Kentucky finds us renewed and rejuvenated, eager to start using what this spring’s heavy rains have let burst forth. Taking a hint from Sooke Harbour House along with some early farm share lettuce, Michelle created a lovely salad using some Johnny-jump-ups and chive flowers from our herb garden. Happy springtime, eh?

HERB SALAD DRESSING

  • 3/4 c. neutral oil (such as canola or safflower)
  • 1/4 c. pear vinegar
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 TB mixed herbs (we used chives, orange thyme and chervil), chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & pepper

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serve over lettuce sprinkled with edible flowers, toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese.

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