Smoky Brussels sprouts and a crunchy topping are the trick to this comforting buckwheat noodle dish. If you don’t have a grill, you can stir-fry the sprouts in a high-heat skillet for 2 minutes to char them, then roast them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Heat lovers should make a double batch of the chili oil, since it’ll keep for a few months in the fridge—and you’ll likely want to put it on everything.
Peanuts are a great substitute for sesame seeds in the crispy chili oil, but if you wish to avoid sesame and nuts, use hulled and salted sunflower seeds instead. To avoid gluten, check ingredient labels and be sure to choose 100 percent buckwheat noodles. Although buckwheat is naturally wheat free, most buckwheat noodles are made with a combination of buckwheat and wheat for texture.
For crispy chili oil, in mortar and pestle, or by hand, roughly crush dried chili peppers. Wash hands well. Transfer chilies to heatproof jar or medium bowl and add ginger, garlic, green onion, star anise, and sesame seeds.
In small skillet, heat 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil over low heat. Add Sichuan peppercorns and cook for 1 minute. Remove peppercorns and discard, reserving oil. Heat oil until shimmering, but not smoking. Pour over spices in jar. Stir and infuse for 1 minute before adding vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. Stir to combine.
In large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil. Add Brussels sprouts directly to grill if gap between grates is narrow or skewer sprouts (pre-soak for 30 minutes if using wooden skewers) before adding to grill. Grill for 10 minutes. Turn and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more, until charred and tender.
In blender or food processor, purée garlic, ginger, miso, dried chili pepper, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. If needed, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water to help blend.
Cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Leave to soak in cold water until needed so noodles don’t stick.
Heat remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil in large pot over medium heat. When hot, add garlic purée and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu cubes and half the green onions. Cook for 1 minute. Add sake or mirin.
Re-drain noodles and stir into pot. Remove pot from heat. Divide among 6 bowls and top with roasted Brussels sprouts. Drizzle with crispy chili oil and garnish with remaining green onions.
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.
This hearty version of traditional sloppy joes has a tidy helping of sleep-aiding dietary fibre, thanks to its payload of smoky lentils. Swapping out the doughy bun for sweet bell pepper ups the nutritional ante and visual appeal. It’s also superb as leftovers. Smoke and fire Chipotle peppers are ripened red jalapeno chiles that have been smoked and dried. In stores, they’re typically sold in a rich, smoky flavoured adobo sauce. They add fiery, complex flavour to sauces used for pasta dishes, tacos, and any version of sloppy joes.