Serves 4 to 6
Early summer potatoes, cooked and grilled, are just the ticket for this fabulous salad. Coupled with lentils, they’re a delicious add-on to any meal plan. This recipe offers an added bonus: it can be made in stages, so you’re not cooking all afternoon.
Best beer? You can’t go wrong serving this dreamy salad with a simple and uncomplicated pale ale.
Potato salad lends itself to any number of variations, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint. Try swapping out microgreens for baby spinach leaves. Another interesting slant: crisp up (optional) prosciutto on the grill before breaking into bite-sized pieces and scattering over the salad.
In medium-sized saucepan, heat oil. Add carrot, celery, and onion, and sauté over medium heat just until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add thyme sprig, bay leaf, salt, lentils, and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until lentils are almost tender but still hold their shape and have a bit of bite to them. Drain well and turn out onto baking sheet to cool. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf and discard. Lentils can be made ahead and stored in a closed container for up to 3 days, if you wish.
Cut potatoes in half. In large saucepan, place potatoes and add enough water to cover by 1 in (2.5 cm). Add a dash of salt, if you wish. Boil gently for 15 minutes or until tender but still firm. Remove. Drain and place in large bowl. Stir broth into bowl with cooked potatoes and set aside. Potatoes will absorb broth; they can be refrigerated in broth overnight if you wish.
In small bowl, combine buttermilk, Dijon, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Vigorously whisk to blend. Add more seasonings, to taste. Dressing can be made ahead and refrigerated in airtight container for a couple of days.
When ready to serve, grease barbecue grate and preheat to 425 F (220 C). Drain any remaining broth from cooked potatoes. Drizzle potatoes with oil and gently toss to coat. Grill potatoes until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn occasionally. Transfer to large bowl. Add cooked lentils and drizzle with buttermilk dressing. Gently toss to evenly coat. Spoon onto serving platter and scatter with chopped green onions, parsley, and microgreens. Tuck prosciutto in and around, if using. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve cold.
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.