Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes

Combined with colourful Romano beans, fennel, and a mustard-balsamic dressing, store-bought roast turkey becomes a chunky home-style Italian salad.

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Red quinoa has more texture than white and has a nuttier flavour.

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Old-fashioned legs of lamb have fallen victim to quick-and-easy cooking, but roasting lamb is what we all should do come Easter. While boneless legs may be simpler to carve, bone-in cuts (like any meat on the bone) are juicier and far more delicious. I like to cook this dish with beans; their melting texture and mild taste are a natural accompaniment to rich lamb. Canadian lamb has come a long way and is as good as anything you get from around the world. If you do decide to buy frozen lamb, then defrost it in the refrigerator 24 hours before cooking for the best results. (One caveat: Lamb fat congeals at quite a low temperature so heat your plates.) Serve with crisp vegetables such as sugar snap peas mixed with julienne carrots and chopped mint or thick stalks of spring asparagus.

Ready time: 2 1/2 hours, not including bean soaking

Servings: 6


1 tbsp anchovies, chopped

2 tbsp garlic, chopped

2 tsp grated lemon rind

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika

2 tbsp olive oil

4 lb (2 kg) bone-in leg of lamb


1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 cup onions, chopped

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

2 cups dried lima beans, soaked in cold water overnight and drained

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 heads garlic sliced in half

4 cups baby spinach (optional)


Combine anchovies, garlic, lemon rind, lemon juice, paprika and oil. Rub over lamb and leave to it marinate while beans are cooking.

To make the beans, heat 2 tbsp oil, reserving remainder, in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in thyme, rosemary and soaked beans. Pour in enough water to just cover the beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook covered for 30 minutes. Uncover, then turn heat to medium-low and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally or until beans are just soft, adding more water if needed. Season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Place lamb in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F. Remove lamb from pan. Add beans to pan and give them a stir. Place garlic heads in the pan and drizzle everything with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Place lamb on top of beans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until lamb juices are just pink. You may need to add a little water as the lamb is cooking so that the beans don’t dry out.

Remove lamb from the pan and let it rest on a carving board. Stir spinach into beans and return to oven for 5 to 10 more minutes until the spinach is wilted.

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Venison is slightly gamey; ground beef or pork make good substitutes, if preferred. You can omit the dried kidney beans and stir in 1 drained 398 ml can about 20 minutes before finishing cooking.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 2 horus
Serves:  6 to 8



1 tbsp olive oil

2 pounds (1 kg) ground venison

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup diced carrots

4 stalks celery, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp paprika

2 bay leaves

1 796 mL canned whole tomatoes, crushed

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 cups red kidney beans, soaked overnight

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 bannocks



Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add venison and cook until browned. Spoon into a bowl.

Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 min. Return venison to pot.

Stir in chilli powder, paprika and bay leaves and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, kidney beans and 1 ½ cups water.

Simmer for 15 minutes. Add rosemary. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.

Cook until beans are soft, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve chili on bannocks with a spoonful of sour cream, grated old cheddar, and chopped chives.



Venison chili works best with a fruity, opulent red to offset the gamey quality and tame the heat. Try shiraz or zinfandel. Or a citrusy, bitter West Coast pale ale. - Beppi Crosariol

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Part of the reason I love this dish is its versatility. Mix up your fish selection by using halibut, black cod or even salmon, add shrimps or take out the squid – it all tastes wonderful. You can also replace the fish with cubed chicken breasts, if you prefer. Cut the fennel, pepper and zucchini into a small dice so they look attractive in the finished dish. If you are not strictly following the Mediterranean way of eating, then include 3 ounces of chorizo sausage for flavouring.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Serves: 4



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrot

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 cup diced fennel

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous

1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped in juice

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup fresh peas

500 grams mussels (about 12)

250 grams clams (about 16)

175 grams squid, cut into 1/2-inch rings

2 tablespoons chopped parsley



Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add fennel and pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes, or until just tender.

Add zucchini and pearl couscous. Cook until zucchini is slightly softened and couscous is toasted, about 2 minutes. Pour in stock and tomatoes. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 3 minutes, or until the couscous begins to absorb the liquid. Stir in peas. Add all of the seafood and cover skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, or until seafood is just cooked, mussels and clams are open and couscous is tender. Add additional stock if needed. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.

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Creamy but with a bite from the farro, this pairs beautifully with the lamb. Substitute spelt or barley if farro is unavailable.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ready in: 35 minutes

Serves: 4



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup farro

5 cups water or stock

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley



Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes or until softened. Add farro and sauté 1 minute longer.

Add 2 cups water or stock and let simmer briskly until partially absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 more cups water or stock and increase heat to medium-high. Boil, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has been absorbed, 12 to 18 minutes. Add remaining water or stock and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until farro is al dente and creamy. Stir in cream and butter. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir in parsley.

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Peas and carrots are a standard dish in most people’s cooking repertoire. Here they are raised to new levels with spicing. I use a small green bird’s eye chili but a serrano would also be fine. You can make this flavourful curry as hot as you wish.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Serves: 4



3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 teaspoon finely chopped green chili, seeds removed if preferred

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

1 teaspoon cumin powder

¼ teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne, or more to taste

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ cup water

1 small tomato, chopped

1 cup diced carrots

2 cups peas, fresh or frozen

Salt to taste



Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 20 minutes. Add green chili, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes longer or until softened. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder and cumin seeds and sauté for 2 minutes to release flavours.

Add water and tomato and continue to cook on low 3 minutes longer or until spices no longer taste raw. Water should bubble slightly. Add carrots, cover skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add peas and cook a few minutes longer or until tender. Add salt to taste. Serve with the lamb.

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Shrimp and grits has become popular on menus at high-end restaurants of late, but it’s a dish that has been around for hundreds of years. Grits are so closely associated with the southern United States that the region is often called the Grits Belt. Made of ground dried corn, grits are similar to polenta, but coarser. A staple of workers’ diets in the past, they are now a trendy accompaniment. This recipe features traditional red-eye gravy, which is also good with ham steaks and pork chops. It’s made with coffee (use instant if you don’t have fresh). Warning to those who are sensitive to caffeine: Consider using decaf unless you want to find out firsthand how the gravy got its name.

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Ready time: 75 minutes

Serves 4



Cheddar grits: 

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups half and half cream or milk

3/4 cup stone-ground grits

1/3 cup butter

 Salt to taste

1 cup sharp cheddar, grated


Red-eye gravy:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped smoked ham or turkey

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup coffee

1 1/2 cups chicken stock


Shrimp mixture:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 smoked chorizo sausages, diced

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper

16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 green onions, finely chopped

Freshly ground pepper



To make the grits:

Bring water and cream to simmer in a pot over medium heat. Slowly whisk in grits. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and grits are thick (about 20 minutes). Add butter and season liberally with salt. Remove from heat and fold in cheese. Reheat when needed.


To make the gravy:

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and ham and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until golden (about 2 minutes).

Combine coffee and stock and whisk in gradually to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Reserve.


To make the shrimp mixture:

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add chorizo and sauté until browned (about 2 minutes). Add onion and peppers and cook until onions are translucent (about 2 minutes longer). Add shrimp and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add gravy and simmer until shrimp is pink and curled (about 1 to 2 minutes longer). Stir in parsley and green onions. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve over warm cheddar grits.

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This version of an Indian-flavoured soup uses lentils (dhal) to thicken the soup rather than being a main ingredient, letting the cauliflower shine.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 40 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

Pinch cayenne

1/3 cup red lentils

6 cups cauliflower florets, about half a head

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 cup yogurt



1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

Oil for frying



Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add ginger and garlic, cumin, turmeric, coriander seeds and cayenne and sauté 1 minute longer. Add lentils and cauliflower and stir with spices. Season lightly with salt.Add stock to cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and cauliflower is tender. Spoon out 1 cup of small cauliflower florets and set aside.

Puree soup in a food processor or with a stick blender. If soup is too thick, thin down with extra stock. Return to pot and stir in yogurt. Season well. Rewarm when needed.

Mix together flour, cornstarch, coriander and season with salt. Add enough water (about 1/4 cup) to make a batter the thickness of whipping cream. Stir in cooked cauliflower florets.

Heat 1-inch oil in a small skillet over high heat until very hot. Spoon 2 tablespoon cauliflower mixture into hot oil, forming a fritter. Repeat with remaining mixture. Fry until batter is crisp and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve on top of soup.



My preference is gewurztraminer, preferably a rich example from Alsace. It’s strongly musky, with floral and ginger nuances layered on abundant, lychee-like fruit, just the profile to power through the aromatics here. If you prefer something tamer, try a buttery Californian or Australian chardonnay. - Beppi Crosariol

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(Babi&Co's fritters topped with their garlic chili sauce in image)

Festival favourite Babi&Co. doesn’t have a permanent home yet, so this catering company re-creates traditional Indonesian street foods using fresh and local ingredients at pop-up events. Their addictive Perkedel Jagung corn fritters are packed with garlicky flavour.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Makes: 16 pieces



2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs (about 1 cup)

2 eggs

½ cup chopped green onion

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rice flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

Salt and pepper to taste



Whisk corn, eggs, green onion, and garlic in a bowl.

Mix flour, rice flour, baking powder, curry powder, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.

Stir wet ingredients into dry. The batter should be thick.

Heat ½ inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, and then add the batter by tablespoons. Fry until golden, flip and cook the other side, about 2 minutes.  Serve with chutney

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