Small black beluga lentils, so called because of their resemblance to caviar, hold their shape well, making them perfect for salads. If you can’t find beluga lentils, use French Puy lentils, which have similar properties. With lentils, young spinach, spring peas, and herby dressing, this salad welcomes spring.
Symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobium invade the roots of lentils and legumes such as peas and beans, allowing them to “fix,” or use, nitrogen. This also improves the quality of the soil they grow in. When grown as part of a crop rotation system, they make the soil suitable to grow other plants, including grains, that require nitrogen.
Packaged lentils may contain small stones or other debris which, for safety, should be removed. To pick over lentils, take small amounts of lentils and spread them on a flat surface such as a cutting board. Using a bench scraper or palette knife, or simply your hands, review the contents and move from one end of the board to the other, removing any debris you find on the way.
Fun fact: The word lentil is derived from the word for lens. You might want to get a pair to complete this task!
What to look for: When choosing lentils, look for organic lentils to avoid glyphosate residues that can be found in conventionally grown varieties.
Pick over lentils, removing pebbles or debris, and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add lentils and bay leaf. Reduce to medium-low and cook lentils at a slow simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
In separate pot, blanch green peas for 2 to 3 minutes; drain and rinse with cool water.
In small bowl, combine herbs, vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
In large bowl, place cooked and cooled lentils. Pour dressing overtop lentils; add green onions, blanched peas, and baby spinach; and toss together. Tip out onto large shallow platter to serve.
There’s nothing like a roast to feed a crowd. These lean pork tenderloins will reign at the buffet table and will be equally enjoyed hot or cold. Simply prepared with a rub scented with the flavours of your favourite apple pie, the meat is roasted and rested to retain its juices before being laid out on peppery arugula leaves simply dressed in a classic vinaigrette. When is pork done? Has your pork ever come out dry? It could be all down to a number. In 2020, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated its recommended internal temperature from the previously published 160 F (70 C) to 145 F (63 C) to allow for rest time. The new standard reflects a clearer distinction between temperature taken prior to rest time and after. During rest time, the internal temperature continues to rise, reaching the desired 160 F (70 C).
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.