Choose your favourite hearty grain bread and pile it high with this savoury mixture of mushrooms and leeks. Bright green watercress adds a peppery snap to this quick, light lunch or snack.
Watercress is relatively disease and pest resistant, so it doesn’t require pesticides. It’s easy to grow, and it’s packed with nutrition: just 1 cup (250 mL) contains 106 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin K and twice as much vitamin C as an apple.
While some (myself included) prefer to peel mushrooms versus washing or brushing them, this is, at least in my case, admittedly more habit than anything else. There is more nutrition in the skin, and fresh mushrooms generally only need a good dry brush to clean them.
If you choose to wash, make sure it’s not too far in advance and that they’re dry when you begin cooking. Some say that a peeled mushroom imparts more flavour. If you do peel, be sure to compost the skins.
In large skillet on high, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. When oil is hot, add mushrooms and thyme sprigs and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking pan from time to time to toss, but otherwise keeping movement to a minimum. Once mushrooms are browned, add a pinch of salt and lemon juice, stir through, and tip out onto plate to rest.
Reduce heat to medium and, in the same pan, add remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil, leeks, and remaining salt. Cook leeks, being careful not to brown, for about 5 minutes, or until just soft. Tip mushrooms and thyme sprigs back into the pan, add honey, and combine with leeks. Remove pan from heat.
Toast 2 pieces of bread. When ready, add watercress to still-warm leek and mushroom mixture and mix through, just wilting watercress. Spoon onto toasted and plated bread and season with black pepper.
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.