Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are native to Italy and can charm any number of dishes with their smooth texture; mild, sweetish flavour; and versatility. Cook as per instructions below and use in soups, salads, or stews. Satisfyingly delicious. Switch out tuna with organic boneless chicken breasts, if preferred.
The bigger the beans, the longer the soaking and cooking time. Cover with enough cold water to extend above beans by 2 in (5 cm). Set aside at room temperature overnight for no longer than 12 hours. For a shorter soak, place beans in a pan of cold water with 2 in (5 cm) to spare. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 1 hour. Thoroughly drain and use as per recipe.
Dried beans will keep for 6 to 9 months in a lightly sealed container at room temperature. To have beans ready to go for quick dinner plans, soak and cook up a generous-sized pot. Strain and cool. Then store in small containers and freeze. Simply add frozen to soups and stews or thaw and toss into salads or stir-fries.
Place soaked and drained beans in large saucepan. Cover with water and 1 in (2.5 cm) to spare. Add bay leaves, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook, with lid ajar, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until beans are tender but still a bit firm. Do not add salt, as it will toughen the beans. Beans can be soaked and cooked ahead. Remove bay leaves and herbs. Then drain and refrigerate for up to a couple of days. Or freeze for up to a month.
While beans are simmering, place dressing ingredients in mini blender. Whirl until emulsified. Set aside. On large serving platter, arrange spinach, onion, and cherry tomato halves. Shave cucumber into long, thin strips and add along with cooked beans. Set aside.
Combine fennel seed, salt, and generous gratings of pepper in mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. Stir in dill. Sprinkle on cutting board and press tuna loin into seasonings to lightly coat on all sides.
Preheat barbecue or dry grill pan until very hot. Sear whole loin for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on both sides, just until lightly golden on the outside but still raw in the centre. Set aside on cutting board to rest. Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil and rub in.
To serve, cut tuna crosswise into slices. Arrange overtop salad ingredients. Dot with dressing and serve.
This recipe is part of the Growing a Dream collection.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.