This riff on a classic Provençal dish of simmered vegetables gets an upgrade by imparting the veggies with a slightly smoky flavour from the grill and then tossing them into a salad with nutritious lentils and a refreshing minty dressing. A perfect vegetarian main dish for the summer season, the lentils and dressing can be made up to three days in advance, while the vegetables can be grilled the day before your gathering. But dress the salad only before serving.
Place lentils, a couple pinches of salt, and 4 cups (1 L) water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered until lentils are tender but not too soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
Lightly sprinkle cut sides of eggplant with salt and let sit for 15 minutes (you will see beads of water form on the surface). Pat dry with paper towel.
Heat grill to medium-high. Lightly brush vegetables with oil and season lightly with salt. Grill vegetables, in batches if there is not enough grill space, until charred in a few spots and tender, flipping once. Remove vegetables from grill as they finish cooking.
Once cool enough to handle, chop vegetables into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces, place in large bowl, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain any liquid that has pooled in the bottom of bowl and then toss vegetables with lentils, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives, if using.
To make dressing, in blender or food processor container, place 1/3 cup (80 mL) oil, vinegar, mint, basil, garlic, honey, mustard, salt, and black pepper, and blend until smooth. Gently toss dressing with salad.
No backyard grill? These vegetables can also be prepared by roasting in a 400 F (200 C) oven. But do so on two baking sheets or in two batches to avoid overcrowding a single pan.
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.