This vibrant summer salad works equally great as a side dish or light lunch. It also travels well, should the urge to eat al fresco strike. Leftovers keep well refrigerated for a few days.
Sambal is an Indonesian condiment that is made up of fresh and dried ground spices and herbs. Just like chutney in India or salsa in Mexico, there are countless variations of sambals all across Indonesia. In North America, we typically find a sambal called sambal oelek on our grocery shelves.
Meal in the making
To make this salad more of a complete meal, add whatever protein you have on hand. Shredded roast chicken, sautéed prawns, or grilled tofu all make wonderful additions.
In small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, fish sauce, honey, water, and sambal oelek or chopped chili until well combined. Finely chop 1 Tbsp (15 mL) mint leaves and stir into dressing. Set aside while preparing salad, or transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Bring large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. While water is coming to a boil, prepare ice bath by placing a couple of handfuls of ice into large bowl and covering with cold water. Set aside.
Blanch snow peas in boiling water for 10 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath for 1 minute before placing on clean kitchen towel to drain. Repeat blanching and ice water bath treatment with bean sprouts, taking care to blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for only 5 seconds. Place bean sprouts to drain on clean kitchen towel alongside snow peas.
Cook rice noodles according to package instructions and place in large bowl. Add about half the reserved dressing and toss to combine.
Cut snow peas into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl with noodles along with bean sprouts, cherry tomato halves, watermelon pieces, torn basil leaves, green onion, and remaining 1/3 cup (80 mL) torn mint leaves. Drizzle with remaining dressing before gently tossing all together. Pile onto serving plates and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts, if using, and lime wedges.
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.