I love going to the markets and seeing the spring and summer produce slowly appear. Every year, when summer turns to winter, I miss the abundance of fruit and vegetables that are in their prime but after a few months, it’s easy to forget what a good tomato looks like. Now that peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are back and super cheap, I feel like my dinners would be lost without them. While there is nothing better or fresher-tasting than crunching into a whole red pepper or a lightly salted tomato sometimes it’s nice to have a warm, hearty meal. In fact, there’s nothing more satisfying than applying a little bit of heat, some herbs and spices, and coaxing the best, freshest produce into an easy, weeknight dinner in under half an hour. That’s exactly what this spring ratatouille is.
A few days ago I was scouring Lady and Pups’ website for recipes that use black sesame. For some reason a recipe of homemade wontons swimming in this peanut sauce came up, and I knew that I had to make it immediately (the black sesame creation will be coming soon!). Not only did the peanut sauce look amazing, but I’ve had a bag of peanuts sitting on my shelf for months now. We’re moving soon and I am trying to get through all of the dry ingredients that I have stockpiled over the months (same reason that I was looking for a black sesame recipe!). Out of all of the nuts that we go through on a consistent basis, peanuts is not one of them and I couldn’t think of any better way to use them up.
I’ve recently discovered wild rice blends. If you’re not a huge fan of brown rice on it’s own and want to steer away from white rice, you should definitely check it out. The main reason that I love it is that the texture is amazing. Because there are different shapes, sizes and types of rice they all cook slightly differently. So, you end up with a medley of colors and textures. I think that’s a big part of why having a bowl of rice with some vegetables and sauce can feel like a meal now. As is often the case, however, the sauce is arguably the most important part of this bowl. Rice is always an amazing blank canvas. There are so many directions you can go in terms of flavours and cuisines. But, I know my audience and whenever I am trying something new I know that the way to win over my boyfriend’s heart is to give things a Japanese twist. It is definitely up there among his favourite cuisines and he loves the saltiness of miso. So, when I made this rice, filled with seeds and greens I knew a miso maple wild rice bowl would be the way to go.