Come springtime, the world comes alive with beautiful shades of green. The trees and bushes take centre stage as they bud and blossom, and the air is filled with the soft fragrance of backyard gardens, flowers, and fragrant herbs.
Although herbs often play a supporting role in most recipes, we believe that herbs deserve the spotlight on occasion and often pack just as much nutrition as vegetables. Dive into these herbaceously delicious recipes that feature flavour-packed herbs in the starring role.
Move over lettuce, there’s a new leafy green in town, and this one is packed with flavour. This salad is loaded with fresh, leafy herbs and crisp, crunchy vegetables. Toss them together with this light vinaigrette to highlight the subtle sweetness and allow the beautiful freshness of these herbs to shine through as the star of this dish.
Tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven. This recipe features this classic combination with a fun twist. Edamame pasta is packed with protein and is the perfect vessel for this simple sauce. Slow roasting the tomatoes gives this sauce a creamy mouthfeel without the cream. This dish is very forgiving, so get creative and use as few or as many tomatoes as you like.
This savoury salad is a perfect lunch all on its own or as an accompaniment for a show-stopping dinner. Cilantro, a complex, pungent herb with citrus undertones, is the star of this dish, no longer just a garnish. Serve this salad at room temperature or cold—and prepare to discover the versatility of cilantro.
Poaching is a tried-and-true healthy method of cooking protein because no fat is needed during the cooking process. You can, however, add as much or as little flavour to your cooking liquid as you like to maximize taste. Though simple, this chicken is the perfect vessel for a vibrant take on a herby gremolata sauce.
Get ready to impress with this unique twist on a classic Ukrainian dish. It contains all the ingredients you’d find in a traditional borscht, minus the broth, elevating it from a winter staple to a perfect springtime dish that highlights feathery, flavourful dill and all the hearty vegetables you can handle.
Though not an obvious choice of culinary herb, lovely lavender might surprise you. Lavender is a member of the mint family and is classified as a flowering plant, which means it’s not just pretty to look at! Although pannacotta is traditionally made with cream, here we swap in milk to provide a lighter, less rich version to follow a large or heavy dinner.
If what comes to mind when you think of “seaweed” is “sushi” or “slimy,” you’ve got a whole new plant-based world to discover. These five recipes put the superfood seaweed to good use. From a seafood pasta with wakame pesto to an alkalizing and anti-inflammatory spirulina smoothie, and plenty of seaweed adventure in between, these recipes will have you diving for more. Seaweed’s biggest attraction may be its subtle flavours and versatility. It adds a hard-to-define savoury note to vegetarian dishes and an umami-heavy body to seafood, and it even replaces bacon in a BLT. And let’s not forget about the health benefits. Seaweed is swimming with nutritious minerals, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins. Dive into the world of seaweed, and come back with a healthy haul of fabulous flavours to make dinner more delicious.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.