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.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.