Broccoli rabe, also called rapini or Chinese broccoli in Asian markets, hits peak season in early spring. Its pronounced bitter taste is tamed somewhat with cooking. This elegant plant-based recipe proves that overcooked vegetables are sometimes a good thing.
Despite the name, leafy broccoli rabe tastes nothing like broccoli. Its uses and flavours are closer to turnip and mustard greens. All parts of broccoli rabe—stems, florets, and leaves—are edible. Just like broccoli rabe, broccolini is also a cruciferous vegetable but is a hybrid cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (also called gai lan or Chinese kale). It has long stalks with small broccoli-like florets and less of a bitter edge than rabe.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and heat until garlic turns golden and shallots soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and pepper; heat for 30 seconds. Place broccoli rabe in pan and sauteu0301 for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in 3/4 cup (180 mL) water and bring to a simmer; heat over medium until rabe turns vibrant green and stems begin to soften, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes to pan, bring to a simmer, and heat for 10 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and lentils and heat through. Cover pan to keep warm while you prepare polenta.
In medium-sized saucepan, bring 4 cups (1 L) water to a boil. Add remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and thyme to water and then slowly pour in cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently with wooden spoon to break up any clumps and to make sure cornmeal is not sticking to bottom of pan, until polenta is tender and creamy, about 15 minutes. If polenta becomes too thick too soon, loosen mixture by adding more water and continue cooking.
Divide polenta among shallow serving bowls and top with rabe ragu and Parmesan, if using.
Inspired by its creamy Italian cousin, this vegetarian take on panna cotta swaps out the cream and gelatin for coconut milk and agar agar. Odourless and tasteless, agar-agar is a plant-based thickener derived from seaweed. It’s also a wonderful source of iron, fibre, and magnesium. If you plan on transporting these desserts, pour panna cotta into small jam jars. Once set, screw lids on top and place garnish in separate container. Once you reach your destination, simply garnish and serve.
This happy jumble of vegetables is not only beautiful to look at but also scrumptious. Try to use a rainbow of different colours for the most striking salad presentation. Feel free to replace the dried apricots in the dressing with another dried fruit you may have on hand. Dried cranberries, dried cherries, or golden raisins are all delicious alternatives.
In ancient China, black rice was called “forbidden rice” because only nobles were allowed to eat it. Luckily, today we mere mortals can harness its salad-perfect, slightly sweet, and nutty taste. Bright and fresh, this salad isn’t only flavourful with a winning mix of textures; it’s packed with nutrients, too. Mango tango If possible, use Ataulfo mango for this salad. Its honeylike flavour and custardy texture can’t be beaten. You’re looking for a bit of softness when pressed to indicate ripeness.
Your #mealprepgoals just got easier to nail. Quinoa, black beans, and tempeh provide a triple threat of plant-based protein in this large taco-style salad that holds up remarkably well. The quinoa will absorb the vibrant, flavourful dressing and still be perfectly tender by the time your next meal rolls around. You can toss on some cubed avocado, queso fresco, and/or broken baked tortilla chips for crunch just before serving. Raise a toast To add a deeper flavour to quinoa, consider toasting the grains before boiling in water. Simply heat a couple teaspoons of oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan, add dry quinoa, and heat, stirring often, until the grains are a couple shades darker and emit a nutty, toasted smell; then add your water. Plant-based redo For a plant-based option, you can top salad with slices of grilled tempeh or navy beans instead of chicken. To infuse dressing with savoury, cheesy flavour, minus the dairy, you could use nutritional yeast.