The beauty of this recipe is that it’s greater than the sum of its parts. It just goes to show that thoughtful and (dare I suggest) fancy fare doesn’t need to be complicated. The pea pesto garnish will make more than you need, but it’s a delicious accompaniment to almost any meal and keeps well for up to a week when refrigerated in an airtight container.
Make this soup into a main meal by treating it as a blank canvas for additional garnishes. With a little fridge foraging, you can easily pull together a variety of ingredients that will take this from appetizer to main course.
Start by making pea pesto garnish. In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade attachment or blender, add peas, mint, basil, jalapeno, garlic clove, lemon zest, cheese or nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Process until a chunky paste forms. With processor running, drizzle in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil until you have a thick and textured sauce. Transfer to airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Wipe out processor and set it up again to make soup. No need to wash it.
In processor, place tomatoes along with their juices, fennel, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, sherry vinegar, coconut sugar, black pepper, cumin, bread, remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, and blend until smooth. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
To serve, divide chilled soup among serving bowls. Swirl in a dollop of pea pesto before garnishing with additional peas, some fennel fronds, and a grind of fresh black pepper, if desired.
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.