Maple Sriracha Shishito Peppers

Maple Sriracha Shishito Peppers

If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack that is fairly guilt-free, then these blistered shishito peppers are for you. You can find these little green guys at any Asian grocer. I’ve always said that they taste like if green peppers didn’t suck and had just a hint of heat.

At any rate, you only need a few ingredients to whip these up, so hop to it!

What you’ll need…

24 whole shishito peppers

2 tablespoons canola oil

salt and pepper (to season)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons sriracha

sesame seeds (to garnish)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place shishito peppers in a large mixing bowl, add canola oil, season liberally with salt and pepper and toss until well coated.

Place onto a large baking sheet and let roast in oven until the skins of the peppers start to blister and turn black, about 10-12 minutes or so.

Remove from oven, transfer to mixing bowl, add syrup and sriracha and use tongs or a spoon to toss until peppers are evenly coated.

Place into a large serving dish or bowl, garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Total cook time…15 min


Bird’s Eye Chili and Apple Vinaigrette

Bird's eye chili vinaigrette recipe

Some like it hot! Like realllllllly hot. This is really simple and spicy vinaigrette to try out with anything you might be grilling or roasting this week. Try a couple spoonfuls over top of seared steaks, pork chops, charred romaine…whatever you want, really!

What you’ll need…

4 thai chilies (very thinly sliced, remove seeds for a little less heat)

1 small gala apple (cored and diced)

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

salt (to season)


Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Season to taste, cover and place in fridge until ready to use.

Use as desired.

Yields 1 1/4 cups vinaigrette

Total prep time…5 min


Watermelon Rind Chutney

Watermelon rind chutney

A couple of weeks ago, I popped by Global Calgary to do a cooking segment with watermelon. Now, I love a good watermelon and feta salad like most people, as well as basically any (generally boozy) drink that can benefit from a few slices of watermelon, but what about the rinds?

This might sound a little weird, but I decided to use the watermelon rinds (flesh be damned!) to make a chutney and the result was a delicious little condiment that goes perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables.

What you’ll need…

3 1/2 cups watermelon rind (diced)

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cane sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Place all ingredients in a medium pot on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar has dissolved completely and then reduce to medium heat.

Continue to cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until rind becomes tender and mixture has reduced by 2/3.

Let cool slightly before transferring to a container. Keep cool in the fridge and use as desired.

Yields 2 1/2 cups chutney

Total cook time…40 min


Roasted Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Maple Olive Vinaigrette

Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad recipe

Now that it’s the time of year for fresh, local asparagus we can all look forward to enjoying it in bright, summery dishes like this salad. Roasting the asparagus adds a little depth of flavour to the green stalks and the combination of sliced radishes, crispy Chinese sausage and bulgur wheat makes for a fantastic texture.

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Spicy Olive and Sea Asparagus “Relish”

Cerignola olives recipe

I love sea asparagus. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s this bright green, briny little stalk that is becoming more and more available to the consumer these days (also see: What the hell is sea asparagus?). Between it’s visuals and how it tastes, it can add a brightness to a ton of dishes. I like using it in this method as a topping for things like grilled chicken or roasted potatoes.

The cerignola olives are interesting too because they are much less intense-tasting than the standard green or black olive you might already have in your fridge. They have a still salty, but much more buttery taste. I always say that they are a great entry level olive for people that say they hate olives because of their taste profile. Ha, ha, ha.

This “relish” doesn’t take long to prepare, will last for a couple of days in the fridge (much longer if you opt for capers instead of sea asparagus, but do your best to track down some, it’s fun to play around with!) and even though it’s ridiculously simple, it always impresses people!

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Tabbouleh Soup

Tabbouleh soup recipe

When it starts to (finally) get warmer outside, tabbouleh salad is one of my favourite salads to have as a quick lunch during the week. It doesn’t take long to prepare and it always tastes so fresh with the crunch of cucumbers, sweet tomatoes and parsley and the bulgur wheat makes it a much more substantial meal than it appears to be. Taking those elements of a tabbouleh salad and turning them into a soup is a natural transition and basically the only extra ingredients you’ll need here is some good quality vegetable stock, tomato paste and a little honey, which most of us have in our cupboards already, right? Right!

Rain or shine, this soup might be the easiest (and one of the tastier) things you could put on your dinner table this month.

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