Serves 6 as a main dish or 8 as an appetizer
Our tasty tart is the quintessential harbinger of spring with its new asparagus and spring leeks. All tucked into a flaky crust with tiny tomatoes and sprinkled with pine nuts, it’s a delicious meatless alternative for the vegetarian palate.
Substitute vegan butter for unsalted butter, and brush crust with a little oil before baking.
In food processor fitted with metal blade, make crust by combining flour, herbs, and salt. Pulse 2 or 3 times to blend. Scatter diced cold butter overtop and pulse just until blended and crumbly and butter resembles large peas. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ice water and pulse a couple of times. Add another 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) ice water and pulse just until dough pulls together with a few crumbs.
Lightly dust countertop with flour, then turn dough onto countertop and shape into disk. Tightly wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or tightly sealed and frozen until ready to use.
Cut trimmed leeks in half, lengthwise, and cut lengths into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) half moons. In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and cook until very soft but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir often. Transfer to large bowl.
Cut asparagus stalks into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces. Add remaining oil to hot skillet along with asparagus and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender crisp. Stir often, adding a splash of water, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Add grape tomatoes and continue to stir over medium heat until tomatoes are almost blistering, about 3 minutes. Tumble onto leeks in bowl and add thyme and lemon zest. Fold together and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and adjust oven rack to lower-middle level. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll out chilled pastry into 14 in (35 cm) round. Carefully and loosely roll onto rolling pin and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush centre of pastry with Dijon mustard, leaving 2 in (5 cm) rim around edge. Arrange leek, asparagus, and tomato filling over mustard in even layer, scraping up bits from bottom of bowl. Lightly dust with fresh pepper and sprinkle with pine nuts, if using. Gently lift and fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving veggies in centre of galette exposed. Don’t worry if pastry tears. Just press it back together with your fingertips. This adds to the rustic look. Brush surface of pastry with milk.
Bake galette in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove and place baking sheet on rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then cut galette into wedges and serve warm.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.