10 Recipes to Eat Local—Even in Winter

Is it possible to cook with almost 100% local products during the cold season? Using 10 sometimes surprising ingredients as a base, here are inspiring recipes to consider as an invitation to rediscover your winter pantry.

1. Miso and Maple Ribs

Maple syrup and pork are a pairing that could not be more local. And here’s some more good news: We also make miso here in Quebec. This fermented paste made from soy and cereals is a salty condiment and benefits from being used beyond the Asian dishes it’s often associated with. In this recipe, it serves as a marinade for the ribs, which are then served with coleslaw and sweet potatoes for a meal that’s 100% local.

2. Slow Cooker Fish Confit with Tarragon Beet Salad

What’s local about this recipe? Tarragon, beets and fish, if you look to aquaculture fish farms, where rainbow trout and Arctic char are raised. For turbot, purchase the fish fresh in September and freeze it for later. Fish varieties like these—with firm and robust flesh—lend themselves well to slow cooking. 

3. Roasted Chicken and Bok Choy with Confit Garlic Sauce

In this recipe, it’s not just the chicken that’s local. There’s also acorn squash, apple cider vinegar and bok choy. If you want to get bok choy locally in the winter, it might be a little difficult, but it is on the list of winter greenhouse crops. It’s also delicious served roasted, like we do here.

4. Chorizo Tortilla

In this tortilla, the garlic, potato and canola oil are from here, as is the chorizo. You don’t have to cross the Atlantic to get good sausages. For several years, Quebec has been toe-to-toe with Europe in terms of their artisanal charcuterie. It’s a great preserved item to keep at home at all times for a last-minute appetizer idea or to spice up a dish, like this tortilla.

5. Mussel and Jerusalem Artichoke Chowder

In this rich and comforting soup, cream, corn and mussels are all local products. To this we add Jerusalem artichoke, a funny little tuber from the sunflower family. We like to caramelize it in the pan or in the oven until its nutty-tasting flavours, reminiscent of a mixture of walnuts and artichokes, develop.

6. Savoury Cheese and Confit Tomato Tart

A savoury pie is good, no matter the season! This ultra-simple recipe can be made with a majority of local food, starting with greenhouse tomatoes, yogurt, flour and ricotta. This fresh cheese is the star of this superb savoury pie, and in large grocery stores, you can opt for beautiful fresh or artisanal versions, such as one made from buffalo milk and produced in Quebec.

7. Hot Chicken-Style Sandwiches with Duck

The classic hot chicken is reinvented here with our local version made with onion, sliced bread, peas and duck—a poultry option that enhances the recipe and adds a layer of delicacy. Quebec producers have worked hard to introduce duck to local plates and make it part of our everyday menus. The proof? We even snuck it into one of the least fancy recipes we could think of: hot chicken.

8. Endive Salad with Fried Blood Sausage

It’s hard to get more local than with a salad made of Boston lettuce, blood sausage and cranberries, and whose vinaigrette is made from maple syrup, camelina oil and apple cider vinegar. We also toss in some endive, which is, against all odds, a winter vegetable. Its production begins in May in the fields and ends months later in a controlled greenhouse. This vegetable, prized for its bitterness, is served both cooked and raw, like in this crunchy salad.

9. Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Cheddar

This classic Italian dish is given a local spin with white wine (from here, if you want!), mushrooms, the use of cheddar instead of Parmesan, and barley instead of arborio rice. In 2022, according to figures provided by the Producteurs de grains du Québec, nearly 105,335 tonnes of barley were produced. Although a small amount is intended for consumption (the majority is dedicated to making beer), barley is an interesting option to add to your plate as a replacement for rice, and also pasta. 

10. Honey and Blueberry Cookies

Beyond the flour, honey, apple cider vinegar and butter that are produced here, we shine the spotlight on blueberries, our national fruit. Not only are they easily found in the frozen food section, but they are now available dried. In this form, their good taste is concentrated and, like dried cranberries, inspires us to make both savoury and sweet recipes like this one—with a 100% local interpretation of traditional molasses cakes.

For other ideas for winter recipes based on local vegetables, check out this article: