November 15, 2023

Ask A Chef: Bocado Executive Chef Stuart Cameron Shares The Recipe For An Autumnal Salad

Recipe: Stuart Cameron

Q: Recently, I went to Bocado in Prince Edward County and the Ensalada Mixta really stood out! Are you able to get the recipe for me? – Emily, Kingston, Ont.

A: Executive chef Stuart Cameron combined local Ontario and Spanish ingredients to create the Ensalada Mixta. “We gathered ingredients from nearby farms and then got busy preserving and pickling,” says Stuart, referring to the Pickled Blueberries and Crab Apples. “Bitter green salads always remind me of fall and winter, and they’ll hold up to this nice, rich dressing.”


Quince Dressing

  • 100 g quince paste
  • 10 g mustard smooth dijon
  • 135 g non-alcoholic apple cider
  • 80 mL sherry vinegar
  • 7 1/2 g kosher salt
  • 120 mL grape seed oil
  • 120 mL Spanish olive oil

Basil Oil

  • 90 g fresh basil
  • 200 mL olive oil

Pickled Blueberries

  • 200 g blueberries
  • 120 mL red wine vinegar
  • 30 mL water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 40 g sugar
  • 8 g salt

Puffed Quinoa

  • 400 g quinoa
  • 8 litres water
  • 28 g kosher salt

Ensalada Mixta

  • 80 g bitter greens
  • 30 g Quince Vinaigrette (see above)
  • 36 g crab apples
  • 36 g Pickled Blueberries (see above)
  • 10 g Basil Oil (see above)
  • 5 g Spanish olive oil
  • 20 g 12-month Manchego
  • 10 g puffed quinoa (see above)
  • 4 pieces of blanched snap peas ripped in half
  • Pinch Maldon salt
  • Edible flowers


Yield: Serves 2

Make Quince Dressing

  1. Add quince, mustard, apple cider, sherry vinegar to blender and blend to smooth paste.
  2. Add both oils to bowl, emulsify oil into vinaigrette with whisk, season with salt.

Make Basil Oil

  1. Prepare ice bath. Combine ingredients in blender and pulse together until well blended, smooth.
  2. Transfer mixture to saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until heated to 160°F. Remove pan from heat and chill over ice bath until cold. Refrigerate overnight. Strain oil through a coffee filter. Discard drained basil and reserve oil in airtight container.

Make Pickled Blueberries 

  1. Wash blueberries under cold running water.
  2. In pan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and thyme and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over blueberries in bowl. Leave to cool.

Make Puffed Quinoa

  1. Rinse quinoa well until water runs clear.
  2. Bring water and salt to boil in medium pot, add quinoa, and cook for 14-18 minutes. Until quinoa is fully cooked and little tails pops out.
  3. Drain and set on parchment paper in dehydrator at 130F until dry and crunchy.
  4. Heat canola oil in clean pot to 390F. Add small amounts of dehydrated quinoa to oil. Puffing should occur right away. Remove with fine mesh strainer immediately to not brown quinoa and place on tray with paper towel. Season with salt. Set aside.

Make Ensalada Mixta

  1. In large bowl, place bitter greens, ripped into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Dress lettuce with Quince Dressing, season with flaky sea salt, add Pickled Blueberries and fresh sliced crab apples. Gently combine, not damaging lettuce. Place in serving bowl, drizzle with Basil Oil and olive oil.
  3. Using microplane, finely grate Manchego cheese on top of salad, really make a nice pile of cheese on top.
  4. Top with puffed quinoa and edible flowers.
Author: Alexandra Whyte

courtesy of Visit the County