Click on the above slideshow to see and hear how Francis makes his salad. For mobile users, click here.


Jack Francis, also known as The Happy Chef, is the on-call caterer for The Tragically Hip's Bathouse studio near Kingston, Ont. and the guest on D is for Dinner this week.

Francis joins Alan Neal on CBC Radio's All in A Day Wednesday to share his recipe for arugula and baby greens timbale.

Arugula and baby greens timbale (salad with roasted cumin-sundried tomato dressing)

Ingredients

  • Thin horizontal contiguous slices of English cucumber (mandolin helps).
  • Fresh organic arugula.
  • Fresh organic mixed greens.
  • Heirloom tomato.
  • Plantain chips.
    Jack Francis arugula baby greens timbale
  • Julienne celery root.
  • Carrot (decoratively cut).
  • Roasted sunflower seeds.

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar.
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic.
  • 2 tbsp softened sun dried tomato.
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme.
  • 1 tsp fine ground Dijon mustard.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • Pinch salt.
  • 1 tsp activated fresh ground cumin.

Salad directions

  1. Curl cucumber into a standup collar shape on your plate, garnish the outside of the ring with freshly sliced heirloom tomato. Neatly fill collar with dressed greens and garnish with julienne of celery root, plantain chips, carrot tulips and roasted sunflower seeds.
  2. Drizzle small amount of dressing on the tomato and finish with a small amount of cracked pepper on the tomato.

Dressing directions

  1. Start by activating whole cumin seed: Put 3 tbsp of whole cumin seed in a dry hot (but not smoking) stainless sauté pan, toss for 10 seconds, let cool. The secret is not so hot or long that any colour is added just to release and activate the essential oils (you can smell it). Grind into a very fine powder in a coffee grinder. ( put some in your spaghetti sauce next time)
  2. To make roasted garlic buds, place at least a dozen or more peeled garlic bulbs in a very small pot and add enough sunflower or canola oil to 1/2 cover and cook on very low (do not fry them) slowly add oil braising them.
  3. Let cool and refrigerate excess in the delicious cooking oil.
  4. Add all ingredients in a blender and blend.  The roasted tomato flavor will blossom as the dressing stands. Taste and adjust.