Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes


The beans and the healthy kale play counterpoint to the richness of the next course.

Servings: Two

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes


4 ounces (125 grams) orecchiette

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sliced garlic

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

2 cups slivered dinosaur kale (tough mid-rib and stem removed)


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add orecchiette. Boil for 9 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving some pasta water.Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat and add garlic slivers. Sauté for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add chickpeas and chili flakes.

Toss together for 1 minute to combine flavours. Add kale and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until kale is just wilted.Toss with pasta, adding a little pasta water (about a half cup) to thin out the sauce slightly.


You’ll want something crisp, light and slightly herbal to engage (if you’ll pardon the proposal pun) this pasta. Think verdicchio or soave from Italy or a sauvignon blanc from anywhere. - Beppi Crosariol

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This recipe was an instant hit to the taste buds – we all begged for more. Dan Perlman of Casa SaltShaker suggests serving this as an appetizer. One egg per person is sufficient but use two eggs per person if you want to make it a main course. The bottled tomato purée called passata works best.

Servings: Four

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour




1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces (100 grams) pancetta

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery stalk

1½ cups green lentils

¾ cup tomato purée

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

6 cups baby arugula

4 large eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Maldon salt

2 tablespoons chopped chives



Heat butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté for three minutes or until it begins to brown. Add the onion and celery and cook for two minutes or until softened. Add the lentils, the tomato purée, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn heat to medium low and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and cooking liquid has reduced to a sauce. Add arugula and cook for one minute or until just wilted.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add eggs and fry for 1 minute or until whites are set. Cover skillet and continue to fry one to two minutes, or until edges are golden and top of yolks are set with runny insides.

Spoon lentils onto serving dish and top each with 1 fried egg. Sprinkle over Maldon salt and chives.



Argentina’s signature red, malbec, has a gutsy grip to handle the zesty tomato sauce and cured pancetta in the lentil dish. Beppi Crosariol

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Serve as a side dish with sautéed spicy pork or combine with pasta for a main course. I sometimes process them into a purée and serve as a side with meat or chicken. You can use fava or broad beans too.

Servings: Six

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes including soaking time

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ready In: 2½ hours



2 cups dried large lima or broad beans

1 lemon cut in quarters

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 onion cut in quarters

1 bay leave

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon seeded chopped red chili pepper

2 ounces (60 grams) prosciutto, diced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Cover lima beans with water by 2 inches in a pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat, cover and let sit for one hour. Drain well and rinse beans.

Place beans back into pot; add lemon, garlic, onion, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with water by an inch and bring to boil. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer beans until tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and discard flavourings except for garlic cloves.

Heat oil in sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili and prosciutto and sauté until onions are quite soft, another 5 minutes. Add beans and toss in oil and flavourings. Add 1½ cups reserved bean cooking liquid and reserved whole garlic cloves (peeled).

Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until beans have a thick sauce. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.

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Harira is the thick, wholesome Moroccan soup eaten at sundown on Ramadan and it includes lamb, sometimes chicken, spices and herbs. This is my much quicker vegetarian version, lighter but still full flavoured. Soak the chickpeas overnight so they cook in the time available or use a drained can stirred in 20 minutes before the end of cooking. If the soup gets too thick, add a little extra water, as needed.

Servings: Two to four

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour 20 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped celery

1 cup diced carrots

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups canned tomatoes, lightly crushed with juice

5 cups water

½ cup brown lentils

1 cup soaked chickpeas

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Add turmeric, ginger, cumin, cayenne and cinnamon and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add tomatoes and water, and bring to boil. Add chickpeas, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until chickpeas begin to soften.

Add lentils and cover, simmer for 30 minutes longer or until chickpeas and lentils are cooked through.

Stir in parsley, coriander and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

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I use canned beans here but you can cook your own. Serve this exceptionally tasty dish with greens. It also makes a good first course.

Servings: Four

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ready In: 45 minutes


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces (60 grams) pancetta, chopped

½ cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh

1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed

1 540 ml can Romano beans, drained and rinsed

1 pound (500 grams) large shrimps

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped coriander or parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 400F. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add pancetta, onions and garlic. Sauté for two minutes or until softened.

Add thyme and tomatoes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until thickened and flavourful. Add beans and cook for five minutes more, or until tasty and heated through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape mixture into a gratin dish. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and nestle in bean mixture.

Combine breadcrumbs, garlic, coriander and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle on top of shrimp and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crumbs are golden and shrimp are cooked through.

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With a nod to Creole flavourings, this stuffing is superb with the capon. It should be cooked alongside the bird, rather than stuffed inside. I buy the cornbread already made.


We used between a ⅓ and ½ cup of oyster liquor from the shucked oysters to moisten the stuffing but you can also use clam juice, fish or chicken stock.


4 slices bacon, chopped (4 ounces, 100 grams)

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup red pepper, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne or to taste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 cups crumbled cornbread

18 oysters with their liquor, shucked liquor


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Fry bacon, over medium low heat in skillet for 4 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Add onion, pepper and celery and sauté gently until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and seasonings, cook 30 seconds longer to combine flavours. Remove from heat and add to cornbread. Stir in reserved bacon, oysters and enough oyster liquor, or clam juice, to moisten stuffing. Place in buttered gratin dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer or until stuffing is slightly browned and oysters are cooked through.

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Corn is in abundance right now. Look for heavy ears and avoid corn that is half stripped of leaves as its sugar turns to starch very quickly. Keep corn refrigerated to help prevent starch issues. Tomatoes are finally hitting their stride, too, and I try to find multicoloured ones for a prettier look. This salsa is a lovely side dish with steak, but works equally well with chicken or pork. I have even served it at Thanksgiving with turkey if I can get the right produce.



Servings: 3 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 15 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked mild Spanish paprika

3 ears corn, shucked

1 jalapeno pepper

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

½ cup red onion, chopped

Salt to taste


Heat grill to medium high. Combine oil and paprika and brush corn with mixture. Grill corn and jalapeno for 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes or until corn is tender with a few blackened kernels and pepper is browned and shrivelled. Cut corn kernels off the cob with the back of a knife. Peel skin from jalapeno, remove seeds and chop finely.

Combine corn, jalapeno, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro and red onion in a bowl and season with salt to taste. Makes about 3 cups salsa

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Duck, cherries and peas have a natural affinity for one another. I find that four breasts for six people is plenty, but you could use more for larger appetites.



Servings: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ready In: 70 minutes


4 12-ounce (375-gram) duck breasts, excess fat trimmed from edges

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, cracked

Spiced Cherries:

2 cups cherries, halved and pitted

1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 star anise


1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 400F.

Score skin of duck breast and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Place duck, skin side down, in a cold skillet over low heat. Brown for 20 to 25 minutes, draining fat as it accumulates, or until skin is deeply browned and most of fat has been rendered. Flip over and cook 5 minutes more or until lightly browned.

Drain any remaining fat from skillet and place in the oven. Bake duck for 7 minutes or until pink in centre.

While duck is baking, combine red wine, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and star anise in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Add cherries and simmer for 4 minutes or until cherries are soft and flavourful. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Strain, reserving liquid and cherries separately.

Remove duck from skillet and let rest. Discard fat from skillet and place over medium heat. Pour cherry cooking liquid into skillet and bring to a boil. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until syrupy. Add chicken stock and boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce just coats the back of a spoon. Turn heat to low and swirl in butter until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Scatter pea compote (recipe below) on plates. Slice duck breasts and lay on top of peas. Drizzle duck with sauce and spoon cherries over top.



Using different types of peas makes a gorgeous presentation as well as providing a complementary flavour for the duck. In a pinch you can use frozen peas (but do not defrost before cooking). Look for the more delicate pea shoots found at farmers markets. If you buy small, delicate ones, don't cook them, but if you have larger ones cook for a minute or two until wilted.


1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup green onions, chopped

4 ounces (125 grams) sugar snaps, stem ends and strings removed

¼ cup chicken stock

4 ounces (125 grams) snow peas, stem ends and strings removed

1 cup fresh green peas, shelled

1 cup pea shoots

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped mint


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute or until wilted. Add sugar snaps and stock, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add snow peas and green peas and simmer another 1 to 2 minutes or until all peas and pods are tender. There should be hardly any liquid remaining. Scatter in pea shoots and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in mint.

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The green curry sauce gives a spicy lift to the soup, and the arugula balances the sweetness of the peas with its subtle flavour. The blender works best because it breaks down the pea skins, making a smooth purée. The food mill is another good option. If you use the food processor make sure that you keep processing until it is as smooth as possible. Serve in chilled mugs.



Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

1/2 cup Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup arugula

1/3 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mint for garnish


Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add ginger and potatoes and sauté another 2 minutes or until potatoes are coated with oil. Add green curry paste and stir together.

Add chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are softened. Add peas and arugula and cook until peas are softened, about 3 minutes. Add cream and bring to boil. Remove from heat, purée in batches in the blender and season salt and pepper to taste. Chill. Serve garnished with mint.

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This dish has a Spanish flavour, so use smoked chorizo sausage.



Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ready In: 50 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onions, chopped

1 ½ cups chorizo sausage, diced

1 teaspoon cracked fennel seeds

1 teaspoon smoked mild Spanish paprika

4 cups cornbread, crumbled

½ cup chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 chicken breasts, boneless with skin on


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add chorizo and sauté another minute or until sausage exudes some oil. Add fennel and paprika, then add cornbread and cook until combined. Remove from heat and stir in chicken stock to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pile stuffing in an oiled roasting pan. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to skillet, skin side down. Sear chicken for 2 minutes or until skin is browned. Flip over and fry another 2 minutes or until browned.

Place chicken on top of cornbread and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Slice chicken and serve over stuffing.

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