These little bite-sized morsels are a snap to make. Traditionally, blinis are made with yeast and left to rise. We simplified the recipe using baking powder and soda. Plus, we added some buckwheat flour to make them a little nuttier. These delicious mini pancakes are the perfect foundation for any topping.
Za’atar is a Turkish blend of seasonings found in most major grocery stores. This dish lends itself to any variety of prepared spice blends if za’atar is not available.
Called the caviar of the lentil family, black beluga lentils are a popular legume grown in parts of Canada. Full of healthy antioxidants and excellent for gut health, lentils are a wonder food and so easy to cook!
Substitute gluten-free for all-purpose flour if you wish. Just be sure your flour mix contains xanthan gum. If it doesn’t, add a generous pinch.
In fine-meshed sieve, rinse lentils, removing any tiny stones and debris. In small saucepan, bring 2 cups (500 mL) water and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt to a boil. Add rinsed lentils. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or just until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. It’s best to be slightly undercooked. Drain well and transfer to medium-sized bowl. Add red pepper and onion and gently fold together. Set lentils aside to cool while making blinis.
In medium-sized bowl, combine all-purpose and buckwheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. In small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, oil and lemon juice. Add to dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Lightly brush large nonstick frying pan with a little oil. Heat pan over medium just until a drop of water bounces when added.
Drop batter, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, into hot frying pan, leaving space in between. You want batter thin enough so each blini will spread out to about 2 in (5 cm) in diameter as it cooks. If batter appears too thick, whisk in a tiny splash of additional milk.
Cook blini until bubbles form on the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Then flip with thin spatula and continue to cook for 1 more minute, until light golden brown. Transfer to lined baking sheet in single layer. Add a piece of parchment between layers as needed. Cover and set aside. Blinis can be refrigerated up to a day.
To serve, top blinis with equal amounts of yogurt, lentil mixture, capers, a pinch of za’atar, and a sprinkling of chives.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.