This dish is a plant-based showstopper, with tender mushrooms in a sweet-and-sour glaze soaking into ultra-thick roasted parsnip purée. The parsnip is extra savoury and sweet thanks to a quick dunk in a pot with baking soda, whose alkaline nature makes for a stronger Maillard reaction, a.k.a. more caramelization when the parsnips are roasted.
Pomegranate molasses or Turkish or Iranian grape molasses are excellent replacements for balsamic vinegar and don’t need to be reduced before using.
For parsnip purée, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In medium saucepan, bring water, baking soda, and parsnips to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain parsnips, but don’t rinse. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.
In large bowl, combine parsnips with remaining ingredients for purée. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn and roast for 10 minutes more, or until tender and caramelized. Transfer to large bowl and mash with potato masher or immersion blender, or transfer to food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
For oyster mushrooms, in medium saucepan, boil balsamic vinegar until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. If using aged balsamic vinegar or glaze, skip this step.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. When hot, add mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Flip mushrooms and add balsamic reduction, 1/4 cup (60 mL) green onions, and thyme and stir to coat mushrooms. Lower heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender, adding 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water to prevent sticking, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.
To serve, spread parsnip purée on bottom of large platter. Place mushrooms on top. Top with toasted pistachios and garnish with chopped chives, parsley, or green onion.
This simple dessert celebrates the glory that is the summer strawberry. Don’t feel you have to stick to strawberries here; swapping them for ripe peaches would also make for a stunning ending to any meal. What to gild the lily with? Add a dollop of whipped coconut cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Flower power Orange blossom water (also known as orange flower water) is produced by water distillation of the blossoms of a bitter orange tree. Just like rose water, a little goes a long way. So, take care and use just a drop or two, tasting as you go so as not to overwhelm but rather to complement the other flavours in a dish.
Ever thought about making burgers as an appetizer or as a potluck meal for friends and family? Try making your favourite burger into bite-sized portions. They might be small in size, but they won’t be small in flavour. These burgers also pair well with a Greek salad for a delicious mid-week lunch or dinner. Fresh is best Squeeze fresh lemon on patties while cooking to give them the fresh zing of citrus.
What worldwide vacation is complete without a stop in Italy? Dad won’t miss the meat in this flavourful mushroom alternative complete with Italian spices and a zesty vegetable tapenade. Portobellos have a uniquely “meaty” texture and act as a sponge to lock in loads of flavour. This meaty plant-based burger is sure to become a favourite—even with any meat-lovers in your life. Custom-made! Don’t be afraid to customize your burger buns to fit your patties. If your bun’s too big, trim off excess and save the trimmed bits of bread, but don’t discard. Instead, cut into small cubes; drizzle with some olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings of choice; bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll have delicious homemade croutons for use in soups and salads throughout the week.
Next stop, Asia! This shrimp burger combines classic Asian flavours with unique toppings for rich umami flavour with the saltiness of the ocean. Whether served on a bun or over rice in a more traditional Asian-style meal, try some unique miso yogurt or wasabi mayo dressing for a fabulous flavour bomb. Keep those burgers juicy Place raw patties on a plate or tray, and cover and freeze or refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to keep them together and to lock in moisture.