Elevate your salad and side-dish game at once. When blasted in the oven and flecked with a bit of char, radicchio mellows and gains some sweetness while still retaining just the right amount of bitterness. Here, it’s paired with acidic (syrupy balsamic) and fatty (creamy cheese) ingredients to make a knife-and-fork salad with balanced flavours.
You can use either of the popular varieties of radicchio—round Chioggia or slender Treviso—in this recipe, but if using a large head of this colourful member of the chicory family, you can slice it into quarters for 4 servings. Radicchio can also be prepared on an outdoor grill.
When some people say they don’t like slightly bitter-tasting walnuts, it could be because they have only tried nuts that have turned rancid. The delicate omega fats in walnuts are prone to turning unpleasant tasting fairly quickly. So, it’s best to stash them in your fridge or freezer and purchase walnut halves when possible, since their smaller surface area delays the rancidity process.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). On baking sheet, place walnut halves and roast for 12 minutes, shaking pan halfway through cooking time, until nuts are a couple of shades darker. Be careful not to burn nuts. Remove nuts from oven and raise heat to 400 F (200 C).
Brush radicchio halves with oil and season with salt and pepper. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone sheet and place radicchio cut-side down. Roast in preheated oven, turning once, until leaves look shrivelled and radicchio has darkened, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, place balsamic vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high for 4 to 6 minutes, or until vinegar is reduced by about half (should be a pourable syrup consistency). Watch pot closely so vinegar does not become too thick.
Place radicchio wedges on each of 4 serving platters. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with blue cheese, parsley, and walnuts.
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.
Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote , is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal. Sustainability status Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch. Prep party Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.