There is a growing realisation that how we eat can play a pivotal role in the fight against climate change, which I find hugely encouraging. Adopting a (healthier) wholefood diet, which swaps factory-farmed meat and dairy for smaller amounts of well-reared food, is creatively compelling, with so many amazing herbs and spices to make fruit, vegetables and grains sing. And this is what you’ll see in my new column, The New Flexitarian. Take today’s noodle dish: chargrill, then roast in-season hispi cabbage with a honeyed miso butter and revel in its irresistibly sweet, smoky, umami notes.
Miso and butter roast hispi with sesame noodles
Toss the miso hispi in noodles and drizzle with chilli oil, and you have a deeply satisfying, midweek dish that is rich in grains and vegetables, and as healthy as it is delicious.
Prep 20 min
Cook 25 min
40g butter, softened
70g white miso
2 tsp honey, plus 1-2 tsp extra for the noodles
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 spring onions, roughly sliced, white and green parts separated
2 large hispi cabbages, each cut into 8 wedges through the stem
For the noodles
250g medium egg noodles
2½ tbsp tahini
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame seeds (a mix of black and white looks fun)
Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9. Heat a griddle pan or, if you don’t have one, the grill. In a small bowl, mix the butter, miso, honey, half the soy sauce and the whites of the spring onions.
Griddle or grill the cabbage wedges for 10-12 minutes, turning them when lovely griddle marks appear on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof pan with a lid and spoon over the miso butter. Cover and roast, turning the cabbage once, for 15 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. While they are cooking, whisk the tahini, sesame, remaining tablespoon and a half of soy, vinegar and a teaspoon or so of honey to create a thick paste. Taste, then adjust the seasoning with more honey and/or vinegar. Once the noodles are cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid, then toss in the tahini mix, adding splashes of the reserved water to create a lovely, creamy sauce.
Pile the noodles on to plates and lay the cabbage wedges on top or to the side. Spoon over any cabbage cooking juices, scatter on the green parts of the spring onions and sesame seeds, and serve with your favourite chilli oil to drizzle over liberally.
The simple flex
If you want a more traditional approach, serve the cabbage as a vegetable side for a juicy ragu of sausagemeat, sweet onions and fennel seeds on a bed of butter beans.