A chocolate salad dressing? How else would you dress a salad during this month of love? Don’t let the unusual flavour combinations of this salad dissuade you—juicy meat and mellow mozzarella are brazenly balanced with sweet-tart chocolate balsamic vinegar dressing. Blasting strawberries in the oven is a method to coax out more of their inherent sweetness as the flavour of the berries cooks down and concentrates. If desired, you can use chicken breast instead of turkey.
It sounds all chef-y, but poaching is really nothing more than gently cooking food in a liquid with the primary goal of keeping lean meats such as turkey and chicken breast juicy and plump. Ideally, you want to keep the water temperature at 160 F (71 C) while the meat cooks and skim off any foam on the water surface.
In large pot, place turkey, broth, and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Add enough water to pot so that turkey is completely covered by liquid by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring liquid to a temperature where it is steaming, with just the rare bubble breaking the surface. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and poach for 20 minutes, or until meat is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).
Remove turkey from water and, when cool enough to handle, thinly slice.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Gently toss strawberries with lemon juice and a couple pinches of salt. Arrange strawberry halves in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
In small bowl, microwave chocolate on high power in 15-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted. Alternatively, use a double boiler. Stir in balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Add olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Stir in cacao nibs.
Divide salad greens among serving plates and top with sliced orange pepper, green onions, and turkey. Scatter on mozzarella, almonds, and roasted strawberries. Drizzle on dressing.
This recipe is part of the Dark Delights collection.
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.