Have a napkin handy when you serve these luscious grilled pineapple skewers. They’re as fun to eat as they are juicy, so we can’t guarantee that everyone stays perfectly clean. Grilled pineapple is a classic, but this version spices things up a bit, with just a pinch of heat that even kids will enjoy. Seared only until they begin to release their delicious juices but are still firm, these pineapple pops are topped off with a dollop of lime-zested coconut cream that’s perfect for dipping.
Coconut cream is made using a chilled can of coconut milk. Be sure to use full fat—not light—coconut cream, and chill it well overnight.
14 oz (400 mL) can of coconut milk, chilled overnight
4 tsp (20 mL) lime zest (about 2 limes)
For maximum effect, chill bowl and beaters overnight. About 4 hours in advance of serving, drain liquid from can (save for another use) and scoop out solid cream. Place cream in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add lime zest and mix to incorporate. Reserve, covered, in refrigerator, or chill in a very cold cooler until you’re ready to serve.
About 4 hours in advance, make coconut whipped cream according to directions in the tip below and reserve.
You can also make sugar-spice mixture ahead of time by combining coconut sugar, spices, and salt, and setting aside. Soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to serve pineapple, insert soaked bamboo skewer into each piece of pineapple. Lightly dust each spear with sugar-spice mix. Heat grill to 375 F (190 C). Brush grill with a bit of neutral-flavoured oil (grapeseed oil works well) and place pineapple skewers down at a 45-degree angle to grill grates; cook for 1 or 2 minutes, or until you have a nice grill mark and the pineapple lifts easily. Lift and replace pineapple at the opposite 45-degree angle to make a cross-hatch grill pattern. Repeat on the other side.
To serve, scoop a tablespoon of coconut whipped cream into a dish and top with a pineapple skewer. Sprinkle with additional lime zest if desired. Dip pineapple into coconut whipped cream as you eat it.
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.