Nothing against romaine, but you’ve never met a better, brighter riff on the classic Caesar than with this raw broccoli and kale twist. They can stand up to the creamy dressing, so there’s no reason you can’t make this crowd-pleaser well in advance. Dare we say the salad gets better with time—the dressing will continue to tenderize the leaves without turning them soggy. Lacinato (dinosaur) kale is better suited for this salad than tougher and more fibrous curly kale, but the latter will work in a pinch. Crispy chunks of seeds offer an upgrade to croutons.
Since chicken thigh meat better resists drying out during cooking and also while sitting in your fridge, it’s better suited for use in make-ahead salads than chicken breast.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). On parchment paper- or silicone mat-lined baking sheet, place chicken and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and heat for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C). When cool enough to handle, slice chicken. Alternatively, you can prepare chicken on an outdoor grill.
Cut off broccoli florets as close as possible to the dark green flowers and roughly chop; add to large bowl. Trim woody ends from broccoli stems, preserving as much stem as possible. With sharp knife, peel thick skin of stems to expose tender inner cores. Thinly slice stems and add to bowl with florets. Add kale to bowl and toss to combine.
In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, Parmesan, mustard, garlic, anchovies (if using), salt, and black pepper. In slow stream, whisk in olive oil. Add dressing to bowl with broccoli and kale, and toss until everything is well coated. With your hand, massage dressing into vegetables.
In small bowl, combine honey, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. In dry medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds, stirring often, until sesame seeds are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add honey mixture and cook, stirring often, until seeds stick together in small clumps and they look glazed, about 2 minutes. Scrape seed mixture onto parchment paper; let cool to harden together. Break into small clusters.
To serve, divide vegetables among serving plates and top with chicken slices and seed clusters. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.
Dressed greens, cooked chicken, and seed clusters can be stored separately in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Combine just before serving.
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.