Progress is discovering what you can do without. Marty Rubin
This recipe is another goodie from Bon Appetit a few issues ago, and it’s a perfect example of what I need more of in my life: tasty, easy, cold noodle salads. It’s also a great example of how much I appreciate my ever-evolving ‘recipe selection system’ which over the years basically amounts to clearing the fog on what I daydream about making, and what will actually get made in my home kitchen, which my husband lovingly refers to as our ‘production kitchen’. And he wouldn’t be that wrong really. Between everyone making meals for themselves, to family meal times, to the creation of content for the blog here and also for GRAIN, it can be a little hectic around here. Have I mentioned I’ve also started baking sourdough? Yeah, it’s a thing now. And it’s also another layer of activity happening in my well-used and equally well-loved kitchen. These are definitely good problems to have.
So, amongst all the hectic here and there, this means a good recipe system is a must to stay organized, and always involves paper and pen, and occasionally ripping pages out of magazines. As a minimalist I try to discard magazines right away once I’ve gotten out of them what value they have to offer me. Books I don’t plan to re-read are gone too, with the ones I might refer to again tucked out of sight downstairs and out of my living space. I have come to truly require a clutter-free environment, which happens to include (as much as is feasible), things I enjoy that don’t require tapping gadget keyboards or buttons or even staring at a screen for anything. So, I read my pretty and inspiring food magazines (who am I kidding I really only read one), and I just tear the individual pages out based on what looks or sounds delicious and tuck them into the cute little recipe box my daughter gave me a few years back. I’m sure I’m not the only one that reads recipes from the instruction side first (anyone out there do this too?), as this is how I process them best: as a narrative, with movement and colour and feeling. I want to imagine how it feels to make the recipe before I want to know what’s in it; plus the method always includes the ingredients too so I figure I’m actually saving a little time too ;).
I wasn’t sure how this would turn out based on the dressing, but it was calling my name since the ingredients are full of every single thing I love. In the end I wanted a little more from the dressing flavours, so I added a little sweet and a little soy and some sesame oil. I’ve been eating it all week and boy am I glad for that. It’s lovely 😉 Enjoy! xx
~ Adapted from Bon Appetit
2-3 Broccoli crowns, cut into florets with stalk attached
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2-3 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced1 3 inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks3 tbsp sesame oil1 tbsp sugar1-2 tbsp soy sauce to taste
Veggies, Tempeh & Noodles:
2 dry 8-ounce packages soba noodles (I used traditional buckwheat but these would be amazing)
1 package plain tempeh, cubed
2 tbsp cooking oil for frying tempeh
2 tbsp soy sauce
3-4 cups finely chopped Lacinato kale leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss broccoli with grated garlic, sambal oelek, 1/4 cup cooking oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp. vinegar on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 20–25 minutes.
While the broccoli cooks, whisk oil, vinegar, scallions, sliced garlic, ginger, 1 tsp. salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add kale; toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes (you can let it marinate for longer if you want). Sautée the cubed tempeh over high heat with the oil and soy sauce for 4-5 minutes until crispy. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse under cold water. Add noodles, tempeh, and warm broccoli to kale mixture and toss to coat. Serve on a large platter and top with mint, sesame seeds, and more scallions.
This recipe makes a substantial amount, feel free to make half if you are on your own. It’s perfect for a lovely veggie potluck or dinner party.