Friday, September 17, 2010

Ten Days of CSA: Day 9, Everyday Sesame Stir-Fry with Greens and Tofu

This post will probably be the least impressive-looking post of the Ten Days of CSA to which you've been privy, but if you like the basic ingredients in the featured recipe, I bet it will be one of the most useful posts.

Here's why: The sauce described below goes well with pretty much every summer vegetable you can think of or buy or grow, and the flavors are simultaneously light and complex and nourishing, and, in no uncertain terms, it is really [expletive] yummy.

It's from my historically favorite cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance, which might be demoted to second place since the recent addition of the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook to my collection. Thanks, Amber! (Tangent: Every single thing in the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook is the best version of that particular single thing that I've ever made/eaten. It's unbelievable. Evidently testing is worthwhile.)

Anyway, we eat this about once a week during the early summer, when we're getting asparagus and beans and leafy greens and all those delicious veggies whose freshness shines best when they're just barely cooked and paired with an Asian-style, semi-salty sauce. It's a good, light summer meal. And it's really versatile. And did I mention [expletive] yummy? Yeah. It is.

Everyday Stir Fry

Everyday Sesame Stir-Fry
Yield: 2-4 servings

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (one of the tastiest ingredients of all time)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar or mirin or sake
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar (optional)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 pound crunchy vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces (e.g. zucchini, asparagus, carrots, green beans, snow peas, kohlrabi)
Bunch or two of leafy greens, coarsely chopped, stems removed (e.g. kale, chard, watercress, spinach, cabbage) (optional)
1 pound sesame or teriyaki tofu (homemade or purchased - Wildwood is good and Trader Joe's has a good, cheap, organic teriyaki tofu block - it's perfect for this recipe), cut into 1/2" inch cubes or crumbled

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar or mirin or sake, red pepper flakes, and honey or agave nectar, if using. In a skillet, sauté the garlic in the sesame oil over medium heat for a minute or two. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and give it all a good stir. Add your crunchy vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes or so, until al dente. Add your leafy greens, if using, and tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are softened and the tofu is warmed through. Serve the stir-fry by itself or over some brown rice, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

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