Summer salads and a decadent dessert from "Salad, Pizza, Wine"

The team behind award-winning Montreal pizza joint Elena shares delicious summer salad recipes and a chocolate dessert from their new cookbook.

There are a few holy trinities when it comes to food, and we think salad, pizza and wine might just be our favourite. There's pizza — and really, we could stop right there — to fill your belly, a fun salad to make you feel like you're getting your five-a-day, and then the wine is just always present at the best parties.

At Elena in Montreal, natural wines, wood-fired pizza and yummy vegetable-forward plates are always on the menu, which is probably why the Saint Henri restaurant is such a huge crowd-pleaser. It stands to reason, then, that the people behind this beloved pie shop have put together one of the most colourful cookbooks of the year. With more than 100 delicious mix-and-match recipes, we're confident it's going to have just as much impact in your kitchen as it does on your bookshelf. 

Let this modern Italian recipe bible guide you toward making different types of pasta, delectable desserts, and some of the most hunger-inducing hoagies you ever did see. Buon appetito!

Kale! Caesar!

This salad is giving caesar vibes, but without the mayonnaise or the anchovies it's a lighter, fresher dish for summer.

Serves 4–6

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes


Tahini Caesar dressing (makes 2 cups) 

  • 12 cloves garlic, divided
  • 3 Tbsp + ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 cups garlic croutons
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed (about 3 cups when cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 head radicchio, shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 1 bunch baby kale, stems removed (about 2 cups)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup finely grated parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Create a pouch using foil and nestle inside it 10 garlic cloves and 3 Tbsp olive oil. Seal up the foil to prevent any oil or steam from escaping.
  2. Place the garlic pouch on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the garlic turns squishy, about 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the garlic from the oven but leave the oven on. Open the pouch to let the garlic cool down.
  4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and cold water until smooth. When the garlic has cooled down a little, add it to a blender along with the tahini mixture, the two remaining raw garlic cloves, vinegar, Dijon and salt. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, gradually add the canola oil (adding it slowly will help emulsify the dressing). Repeat the process with ⅓ cup olive oil.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Reheat the garlic croutons: Spread the croutons on a baking sheet and put in the oven to warm up while you make the salad.
  7. Mix the salad: In a large bowl, break the kale into bite-size pieces. Add the radicchio and baby kale and mix with your hands. Add tahini dressing to your liking, lemon juice, a generous glug of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few twists of pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  8. Remove the garlic croutons from the oven and add to the salad along with the grated parmesan. Toss again and serve immediately.

Cucumbers with herby yogurt dressing and sesame seeds

Al fresco afternoons are made all the better with this cucumber salad topped with a tangy, herbaceous yogurt dressing.

Serves 4–6

Preparation time 15 minutes


Yogurt Dressing

  • ½ cup arugula
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped, divided
  • ½ cup fresh dill leaves, roughly chopped, divided
  • ½ cup fresh chives, chopped in 1-inch pieces, divided
  • ½ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cucumber salad

  • 1½ lb cucumbers (preferably a mix of varieties)
  • 1 cup pickled shallots
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch ground Espelette pepper (optional)


  1. Make the yogurt dressing: In a blender, place the arugula, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and half the herbs (parsley, dill, chives, mint and thyme), saving the rest for garnish. Blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the Greek yogurt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the cucumbers: Peel the cucumbers if their skins are waxed and remove the seeds if they are large. If not, leave them as is.
  4. Cut the cucumbers on an angle into roughly 2-inch pieces, but remember there’s no need to be perfect here — just have fun playing around with different shapes.
  5. Assemble the salad: In a bowl, toss the cucumbers with the dressing until each piece is nicely coated. Top with pickled shallots, the remaining chopped herbs and toasted sesame seeds. Season with salt and a few twists of pepper. Finish with a light drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of Espelette pepper.

Nutty chocolate ganache tart

After eating all that salad, you've definitely earned a slice of this cool, chocolatey dessert.

Makes 1

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes



  • 3 cups mixed raw nuts (we like walnuts, blanched hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds)
  • 7 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  • 14 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups 35 per cent cream
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
  2. Lightly butter a 12-inch removable-bottom tart pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  3. Make the crust: Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the sugar and salt and pulse again to combine. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until the nuts begin to clump together and the mixture looks sandy.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the pan and use your hands to firmly and evenly press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (it doesn’t need to come all the way up the sides).
  5. Bake the crust until it turns golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  6. Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small pot, heat the cream until it’s just beginning to simmer. Immediately pour it over the chocolate and let it sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the butter and mix with a spatula until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy.
  8. Assemble and chill: Pour the ganache into the crust and, using an offset spatula, smooth out any bubbles.
  9. Chill in the fridge, uncovered, until set, at least 1 hour.
  10. Remove the tart from the pan and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt. Slice the tart into wedges with
    a hot knife for a clean cut. The tart can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.