As spring herbs start to grow, it pays to let a few flower. Most herb flowers are edible and add great eye appeal and flavour to dishes. This savoury flatbread can be thrown together with premade flatbread, but I urge you to try making your own, as it’s easy—and so delicious.
Start by making flatbread. Boil or steam potatoes until very tender. Drain and transfer to blender along with water and chopped chives, and blend until smooth.
In large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder. Add 1 cup (250 mL) potato purée and mix to form a soft but slightly sticky dough. You can adjust the consistency of the dough by adding more potato purée or rice flour as needed. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and set aside.
Heat large cast iron frying pan over medium high.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out to about 1/4 in (0.6 cm) thickness between 2 pieces of parchment paper, using dusting of extra rice flour if dough is sticking. Place in hot frying pan and cook until starting to brown on underside, about 1 minute. Flip flatbread over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to plate and drape clean kitchen towel overtop while repeating rolling and cooking with remaining dough. Once they’re all cooked, flatbreads may be kept in airtight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
When ready to assemble flatbreads, set oven rack in top third of oven and preheat oven broiler.
Place flatbreads on baking trays and brush with avocado oil. Top each with some shaved fennel, fava beans, green onions, strawberries, and goat cheese. One tray at a time, place flatbreads in oven and broil until toppings are warmed through and starting to caramelize, about 5 to 8 minutes. Keep a close eye on flatbreads, as they can quickly go from cooked to burnt. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of herb flowers, petals, and leaves. Cook remaining flatbreads. Cut and serve while warm.
Feel free to play with any of your favourite edible flowers and petals for your flatbread garnish.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.