This elegant grilled asparagus salad with jammy eggs, blistered onions, chewy spelt, and an attention-grabbing creamy dressing is the perfect way to celebrate the spring sunshine. Spelt berries are sold with their hulls intact, which means they’ll take a bit longer to cook but will reward your patience with al dente chewy nuttiness. They can be swapped out for rye berries, wheat berries, or gluten-free sorghum.
In medium-sized saucepan, place spelt, 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water, and generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a strong simmer, and cook, covered, until spelt is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain well.
Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water one at a time. Cook for 6 1/2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a gentle boil. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and chill for 2 minutes. Gently
crack eggs all over and peel, starting from the wider end with the air pocket. Gently slice eggs in half; yolks will be runny.
Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium-high and grease grill grates.
Toss asparagus with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Place on grill grate and heat until tender and charred in a few spots, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes. If stalks are large, they might take longer to cook. Generally, asparagus is ready when you can easily pierce the middle with a fork.
Brush green onions with remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Place on grill grate and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear and they are fork-tender all the way through, about 8 minutes. Remove from grill.
In bowl, whisk together tahini, miso, lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Whisk in warm water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until a thin consistency is reached.
To assemble salad, divide asparagus and green onions among 4 serving plates. Top with spelt, eggs, almonds, and capers. Drizzle Tahini Miso Dressing overtop.
Tip: Soaking whole grains, such as spelt, for several hours in cold water can slash their cooking time by about 25 percent.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.