Fattoush is the Middle Eastern answer to panzanella bread salad. Crispy pita; grilled, tender zucchini; velvety cheese; earthy lentils; lively herbs; and a vibrant tomato dressing come together in a composed salad that’s jumpy with attention grabbers. If halloumi is not available, some torn fresh mozzarella would be a good stand-in (just don’t try grilling it). Those who are watching their sodium intake can make the salad without olives.
In medium saucepan, place lentils and 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a light simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium and grease grill grates.
Upend halloumi and slice lengthwise into 2 slabs. Brush halloumi and zucchini with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Grill cheese until crispy in a few spots, about 3 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, slice halloumi into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes. Grill zucchini until tender and darkened in a few spots, about 4 minutes per side.
When cool enough to handle, slice zucchini into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces.
Mix za’atar with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Spread on tops of pitas. Grill pitas until golden and crispy, about 1 minute per side. Be careful not to burn pitas. When cool enough to handle, break pitas into 2 in (5 cm) pieces.
Slice tomato in half and grate cut sides down to the skin with the large holes of a box grater. Discard skin and whisk grated tomato with remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, vinegar, shallot, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
Cut romaine into 1 1/2 in (3.75 cm) thick rounds.
Place rounds on serving plates and top with lentils, zucchini, mint, parsley, radish, green onion, olives (if using), halloumi, and toasted pita pieces. Drizzle Tomato Vinaigrette overtop.
Say cheese: Halloumi is a remarkable salty cheese, as it doesn’t melt when sent to the flames. On the grill, the outside gets crispy and the inside turns tender. It’s the ultimate grilled cheese. Find blocks in Middle Eastern grocers and an increasing number of supermarkets.
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.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.