It’s time to once again fire up the grill so the flames can imbue wedges of romaine lettuce with a whole new flavour and texture profile. And when the hunks of flame-licked greens are adorned with chunky vegetables and a creamy tahini dressing, you have an epic meal. For extra protein, the romaine steak can also be topped with chickpeas, cooked lentils, high-quality tinned sardines, or chunks of smoked trout.
Stirring the little swimmers known as anchovies into dressings adds a “what’s that?” umami-salty flavour without making them taste fishy.
In bowl, toss together tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, olives, green onions, and red wine vinegar.
Halve heads of romaine lengthwise and lightly brush with oil. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Alternatively, heat cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Place romaine halves cut-side down on grill, and cook, turning once, until charred and slightly wilted, about 4 minutes.
In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, anchovies (if using), garlic, paprika, and black pepper. If not using anchovies, stir in a couple pinches of salt. If mixture is too thick, thin by whisking in a small amount of warm water.
Transfer lettuce, cut sides up, to serving plates, and season with salt and pepper, if you wish. Top with tomato mixture and drizzle tahini dressing overtop. Sprinkle with feta and mint or basil.
This recipe is part of the The Green Party collection.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.