Undeniably, watermelon is one of summer’s quintessential fruits. So when grilling season is in full swing, be sure to grill watermelon. Grilling gives it an almost meaty texture that makes this ruby fruit a standout addition to a salad.
Slice about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) off bottom of watermelon half so it sits flat. Slice away rind. Turn melon block on its side, cut it into 4 slabs, and then slice each piece in half so you have a total of 8 watermelon half-moons.
Preheat grill to medium. Lightly coat watermelon slices with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and season with chili powder and salt. Brush remaining oil on onion rounds and insert toothpick through rings to hold slices together. Grill each side of watermelon for about 2 minutes, or until grill marks appear.
Grill onions until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 3 minutes per side. Separate grilled onion into individual rings and slice watermelon slabs in half.
Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to slice cucumber into long, thin strips.
To assemble salad, place greens on serving plates and top with cucumber ribbons, onion rings, watermelon squares (2 per salad), and feta. Drizzle on balsamic vinegar. Scatter pistachios and mint over top.
Select the ripest figs you can find to add gorgeous sweetness to this hearty salad, which is just as useful for a family dinner as a workday lunch. Carrots and chickpeas are dressed in a savoury tahini yogurt dressing with Middle Eastern-inspired flavours. A little goes a long way with this fibre- and protein-packed salad, which keeps well in the fridge. Fall favourite Did you know that some varieties of figs have two seasons? They enjoy a brief, early season at the beginning of June and a second season from August to October. Fall figs tend to be sweeter and grow on the new wood of trees.
The apple in these turkey meatballs might not be immediately visible, but it’s working behind the scenes to help bind them together and adds sweet flavour and juiciness. Chinese five-spice powder—a blend of star anise, ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon—lends lively flavour, alongside ginger and garlic. Packed full of protein, these meaty bites are a good source of vitamin D and iron and make for a tasty party appetizer. Meatball magic Handle with care A light touch is the key to a well-formed, juicy meatball. Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, spoon heaping tablespoons into individual meatballs and toss them back and forth between your hands a few times, very gently, to round them off. Avoid squeezing or compressing the meat. Make ahead You can form meatballs 4 hours in advance and refrigerate before cooking. Lay meatballs in a single layer on parchment in glass dish; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove meatballs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin to cook to allow them to come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook evenly. Blot any excess moisture before adding to the hot pan. Turning with this trick When browning meatballs, use a cookie scoop to nudge and turn the meatball. If it loses its round shape, use the scoop to gently re-form.
Fall root vegetables such as parsnips or celeriac make a delicious combination with the autumn season’s arguably biggest star—the apple. Choose a tart apple like Granny Smith or a sweet-tart apple like Pink Lady for this silky soup thickened up with a cashew cream to deliver not only a winning texture but a healthy dose of dietary fibre and some added protein. Tarragon is a supporting actor in this play, working nicely with the apples in a bright, tasty oil as garnish. Terrific with tarragon Bring this dish to the next level by making an elegant tarragon oil to drizzle over the soup. Place 1/3 cup (80 mL) tarragon leaves in fine sieve. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate sieve with ice water and set aside. Plunge sieve into pot of boiling water, drenching tarragon for about 30 seconds. Remove sieve and plunge it into the ice water and leave for a minute or so. Drain and transfer tarragon to clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water and place tarragon in food processor with 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil. Blend for about a minute and then strain oil through clean fine sieve into jar. Use at room temperature and refrigerate when not using.