Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes

Using healthy edamame gives an Asian flavour to this spread. I use baked dumpling skins for some crunch with the creamy filling. Dumpling skins also work for any kind of spread or even little quiche-like tartlets.


2 cups frozen edamame, defrosted

1/2 cup white miso

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream, optional

1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce or more to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

24 dumpling skins

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine edamame, miso, mayonnaise and chili sauce in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still has a touch of texture to it. If the spread is too thick, thin with a little sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush both sides of dumpling skins with oil and push in mini-muffin tins to make flower-shaped cups. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden at the edges and completely crisp. Let cool and fill with edamame spread just before serving. Makes 24.

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Polenta can be soft and creamy or very firm depending on the amount of liquid you use. If you make this dish ahead of time, cover with a damp cloth and add in 1/4 cup whipping cream when reheating.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

6 cups milk

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

Dash hot pepper sauce

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy pot. Cook onions, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in milk, garlic and hot pepper sauce; bring to boil over high heat. Add cornmeal in a thin stream until fully incorporated. Reduce heat to low.

Cook, whisking frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes or until polenta is thick and pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan. Stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Serves 6.

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Featured in my new book, A Year in Lucy's Kitchen, this soup is my favourite winter indulgence. It is based on a recipe that I had in the Auvergne in France, where lentils du Puy are grown.


1 cup dried lentils du Puy or green lentils, rinsed

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 green apple, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

4 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons horseradish


Place lentils, onions, apple, ginger, cumin, lemon rind and stock in a pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are completely soft.

Purée mixture until smooth and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper, adding extra stock if soup is too thick.

Stir together cream and horseradish in a small bowl. Stir into soup and reheat when needed. Serves 4.

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Preserved black soy beans are sold in Asian grocery stores. If you can't find them, substitute black bean sauce, which is available at supermarkets (and if you use black bean sauce, omit the ginger and garlic).


1 egg white

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 pound (500 grams) pickerel, cut into 2-inch pieces (skin on)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons preserved black beans, soaked in hot water and drained

1/2 red onion, cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 green pepper, cut in 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons sherry

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 cup chicken stock or water

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions


Beat egg white with a pinch of salt and cornstarch. Add pickerel and toss to coat.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. When wok is very hot, add pickerel in batches and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from wok.

Add garlic, ginger and black beans to wok and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion and green pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Combine soy sauce, sherry, sugar, rice vinegar and chicken stock, pour into wok and bring to boil. Add cornstarch mixture and sesame oil and stir until sauce has thickened (about 1 minute). Return pickerel to wok and reheat. Sprinkle with green onions. Serves 3 (or 4 as part of a Chinese meal).

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Rinse the quinoa before cooking it to remove the powdery residue. Wash it under cold water until the water runs clear. You might be tempted to put wasabi in these rolls, but its flavour doesn't work well with the quinoa. I used avocado (which kids don't usually like) but you can fill them with anything you wish.


2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

Pinch salt

1 English cucumber

1 red pepper

1 large avocado

6 nori leaves


Place water in a pot and bring to boil. Add quinoa, cover, turn heat to low and cook for 12 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed. Add seasoned rice wine vinegar and salt and stir until combined. Remove from heat and let cool on a cookie sheet.

Cut cucumber, red pepper and avocado into long julienne strips. Cut each nori leaf in half, lengthwise.

Lay one piece of nori so that the longest edge is facing you on a bamboo rolling mat. Sprinkle on ¼ cup of prepared quinoa and use damp fingers to press it into an even rectangle leaving ¾-inch of nori uncovered at the top. Lay a row of each vegetables down the middle of the quinoa. Using your rolling mat as a guide, compress and roll sushi into an even cylinder. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you have 12 rolls. Let stand a few minutes to soften nori and cut into pieces to serve. Serve with soy sauce for dipping. Serves 6.

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The juiciest and most flavourful mangoes hit markets in late May, so use them to make a sensational salad starter. Look for wonderful teardrop-shaped Alphonso mangoes from India or their Mexican cousins, Ataulfo.



8 ounces (250 grams) snow peas, stem end trimmed

2 mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 small red pepper, sliced


1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped basil


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add snow peas and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water until cold and drain again. Pat dry.

Combine snow peas, mangoes and red pepper in a bowl.

Whisk together orange juice, lime juice and rice vinegar. Whisk in mustard and sugar. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss salad with dressing, transfer to a platter and sprinkle over basil. Serves 6.

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If you are making corn on the barbecue, add a few extra ears to make this salad. It can also be made with cooked corn rather than grilled, but that doesn't have the same smoky flavour.


4 ears corn, husked

1 jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon garlic, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 to 2 tablespoons water

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1 head red leaf lettuce

2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced

¾ cup chopped sweet white onion

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped coriander


Preheat grill to high.

Brush corn with a little oil, place on the grill and grill for 10 minutes, rolling corn around occasionally until corn is tender and has a few charred kernels. Remove corn kernels by slicing them off with a knife into a bowl. Reserve corn and any juices.

While corn is grilling, place jalapeno on the grill beside corn and grill for 8 minutes or until the skin is lightly charred and pepper is softened. Let cool. Skin jalapeno and chop.

Place ½ cup corn and any liquid in a food processor, reserving remaining corn. Add vinegar, garlic, olive oil and basil and process until as smooth as possible, adding a little water if needed (it should resemble lightly whipped cream) and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tear lettuce into a salad bowl or platter. Top with tomato, onion, grilled jalapeno and reserved corn. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with coriander. Serves 6.

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This salad is easy to make and provides an excellent way to use this season's fresh, local green beans.



1 pound (500 grams) green beans, trimmed

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped red onion


1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 cup olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain and run under cold water. Pat dry. Toss green beans with cherry tomatoes and red onion.

Combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup and tarragon in a bowl. Whisk in oil a little at a time until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss with salad. Serves 6.

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This recipe is quick and easy to execute and makes 30 crostini bases, but you can make more if you're serving a hungry group. The slices will keep up to 10 days well sealed in a plastic bag but not refrigerated. If you absolutely do not want to turn on the oven, you can buy excellent crostini at the supermarket.


1 baguette

½ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, cut in half


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut baguette into thin slices no more than ½-inch thick. Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden, turning over once if needed.

Remove from oven, brush lightly with olive oil and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Makes 30 or more crostini.



This spicy pepper-laced dip has more kick than hummus.


1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos or to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine chickpeas in a bowl and crush with a fork or potato masher. Add chopped jalapenos, garlic, olive oil and parsley and mix together. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.



If you can find burrata, the creamy cheese from Puglia, it is fabulous in this recipe. If you have leftovers, it's great melted on toast for breakfast.


1 ball buffalo mozzarella

2 tablespoons to ¼ cup fire-roasted chilies (depending on heat)

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Tear mozzarella into pieces and toss with chilies and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.




If you can find warm fresh ricotta, its homey flavour is unbeatable, although regular fresh ricotta is excellent too.


2 cups fresh ricotta

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon chopped lemon balm


Break ricotta into small pieces. Mix with honey, black pepper and salt. Garnish with lemon balm.




A cross between a guacamole and a salsa, this salad refreshes the tongue.


1½ cups chopped tomatoes

½ cup chopped red onion

1 avocado, diced

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine tomatoes, red onion, avocado and basil. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss together.



Italian oil-packed tuna is ideal for this recipe. If you can't find it, substitute one regular can of drained solid white tuna and add in 2 extra tablespoons of olive oil.


2 80-gram cans light Italian tuna in oil

2 teaspoons capers

3 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Mash tuna using a fork. Add capers, shallots, egg and sherry vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




This is one of my favourite toppings, a kind of bridge from crostini to dessert.


1 pear, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 ounces (125 grams) taleggio cheese, thinly sliced

8 basil leaves, torn

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Toss pear with lemon juice to keep it from discolouring. Serve atop crostini slices with sliced taleggio and basil leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

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Boil or grill two corn cobs, then remove the kernels with the back of a knife. Omit the mascarpone if you're trying to keep the calorie count low.


3 cups water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup polenta

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 cup cooked corn off the cob

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place water and salt in a pot and bring to boil. Whisk in polenta and chili flakes and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cooked corn, chili flakes, Parmesan and mascarpone and season with salt and pepper to taste. It should have the texture of mashed potatoes. Serves 4.

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