Fresh asparagus is the truest sign that spring has sprung. These edible spears have been cultivated throughout the ages by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Rich in dietary fibre, folic acid, and potassium while low in calories and containing no fat or cholesterol, these young shoots are now prepared nearly worldwide in countless ways and an be easily pickled for keeping.
3/4 tsp (4 mL) curry powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sea salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
30 pieces asparagus spears, medium-sized (bottom inch peeled)
1/4 cup (60 mL) grainy seed mustard
1 Tbsp (15 mL) hot water
1/3 cup (80 mL) maple vinegar (available at fine grocers or substitute sherry vinegar)
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Heat barbecue or inside-grill to medium-high heat. Blend curry powder and salt together. Drizzle oil on asparagus, then season with the curry-salt mixture.
Grill asparagus in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the grill and avoid flames. Cook until golden and lightly charred on both sides.
Place mustard in a stainless steel bowl; slowly whisk in hot water and maple vinegar, then slowly whisk in oil. Taste and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Toss asparagus with your favourite salad greens–bitter lettuces work well–and serve with maple mustard vinaigrette.
source: "Celebrating Spring with Araxi", alive #306, April 2008
Yogurt completely transforms the texture of these chicken thighs, making them tender and flavourful with bright notes of lemon and cilantro. Ideal for a day trip, these can be marinated in the morning and cooked in the evening, but they also work well when cooked in advance and packed for a picnic to be eaten cold. Marinade mentions Marinate chicken thighs for anywhere between 4 and 24 hours. Discard excess marinade that has been in contact with raw chicken. It should not be consumed uncooked.
Citrusy and slightly sour sumac and a touch of maple syrup enliven pickled onions in a perfect complement to this salad. Kale and Napa cabbage stand up for hours to the sweet and puckery dressing, and hearty farro will keep you going while on the road. This salad is sure to be a favourite for picnics, backyard potlucks, or road trip lunch stops. Dressing for dinner This salad stands up well, even while dressed, for up to 4 hours. (Truth be told, I’ve often happily eaten it the next day.) In fact, time helps kale to soften up and become even more delicious. If you’re travelling for a longer period, make the pickled onion dressing as described above: let it stand for about 20 minutes, and then add all the oil and pack it into a separate container so you can finish the salad when you arrive at your destination. The pickled onions are also great with steaks or chicken.
These wraps are perfect for an overnight journey when you want to have something quick and satisfying the next day. Sweet smoked paprika adds just a hint of smoky flavour to sweet potatoes, which join with spinach and red pepper to dress up eggs in a pleasing way. Make these wraps anytime and stick them in the freezer for your next excursion. Pack them frozen and they’ll have time to thaw on the journey, or put them in the fridge the night before you travel so you have something convenient and tasty to eat before you set off. Leave the ketchup bottle behind, and serve them with your own smoky red pepper sauce. Freeze with ease While foil is convenient for freezing and reheating these wraps, to cut down on waste, freeze wraps in a single freezer-proof container. Insert a small piece of parchment between each wrap so they don’t stick together. This will allow you to remove individual wraps easily when you need them.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.