LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2020

4 plant-based upgrades


Before tackling these or any vegetarian recipes, treat your pantry to a plant-based makeover.

Even homemade tomato sauce rarely measures up to Rao’s.

MARCONA ALMONDS Spanish Marcona almonds are rounder and flatter than their California cous- ins, with a mild sweetness and a softer texture similar to a macadamia nut. Sprinkle these gems on salads and experience the queen of almonds.

Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce

Rao’s is the best jarred tomato sauce. Second place isn’t close. And at $13 for 660 mL, it’s also the most expensive. Worth it? Well, you could buy top-shelf San Marzano tomatoes and make sauce from scratch, but it probably won’t measure up to Rao’s. It’s that good.

Other luxe products

Three more secret weapons for the plant-based cook.

Any of these splurges will upgrade a dish to first class.

White Truffle Oil The barest drizzle will lift everything from cauliflower soup to celeriac salad or scalloped potatoes. Aleppo Pepper Use in place of chili flakes for a deeper flavour, gentler heat and more refined texture. Dried Porcini The woodsy soaking liquid from recon- stituting these wild fungi is like mushroom broth from the gods.

Oil-packed artichoke hearts

Typical marinated artichokes are more like a pickle and should be used judiciously. Premium artichoke hearts packed in oil—Jesse Tree is an excellent brand—taste much closer to freshly cooked and can be used with abandon.

CERIGNOLA OLIVES Biting into a vibrant green Cerignola olive is a revelation: it’s not overly salty and has a firm, meaty texture and a buttery flavour. They cost hardly any more than regular olives and will elevate pastas, tapenade and more.



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