On a trip to Montreal with friends, we shared a broccoli-based “Caesar” salad as a starter plate. It featured a whole broccoli stalk that had been charred on a grill, finished in the oven, and then smothered in Caesar dressing. It was so good that I would have fought everyone at the table for the last bite. The smoky tempeh makes this a more filling vegetable course, too.
I blanch the broccoli here, but I’ve also prepared this salad with roasted broccoli florets as a warm salad. Just place the florets on a baking sheet, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a 400 F (200 C) oven for about 20 minutes or so.
To make Creamy Cashew Caesar Dressing, in jar with tight-fitting lid, combine cashew butter, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir with a spoon or small spatula until cashew butter is broken up. Mash chunks of cashew butter against sides of jar to get it as integrated as possible. Add garlic, Dijon mustard, capers, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Tightly secure lid, and shake jar vigorously until dressing has a smooth and creamy consistency. Set aside.
To make salad, bring large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a fat pinch of salt and broccoli florets, and simmer until broccoli is just tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
In small bowl, stir together paprika, smoked paprika, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and tamari. Set aside.
Dry saucepan and return it to stove over medium heat. Add oil and let it heat through until shimmering slightly. Add crumbled tempeh, spreading it out to a single layer. Let it sit and brown for a full 2 minutes. Then stir it up, and let sit for another full minute. Pour paprika mixture into pan. It should sizzle quite a bit. Stir to coat all of the tempeh. Remove from heat.
Place broccoli on serving platter. Drizzle Creamy Cashew Caesar Dressing overtop. Scatter smoky tempeh bits overtop as well. Garnish with some nutritional yeast and freshly ground black pepper to finish. Serve immediately.
This recipe is part of the Cooking with The First Mess collection.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.