In the spirit of Pam's recent post about timely use of our farm-box bounty, this evening's dinner was a use of our latest Colchester Farm harvest that was simple, nutritious, easy, and delicious. Read on -- I think this was quite successful and readily adapted to other available ingredients.
Pam started by preparing a salad with mixed leafy greens, sliced radish, and bean sprouts. She mixed up one of our favorite dressings -- one cup olive oil and a 1/4 cup each of mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. These stayed in the fridge -- alongside a Sauvignon Blanc -- while I prepared a stir-fry.
I did so with some trepidation, as my "stir fry" often seems to be more a stew than anything else. In this case, I made a couple of adjustments that resulted in a lighter, more flavorful meal. First, I melted butter in a small pan, stirred in one cup of basmati rice, and then added 2-1/4 cups of water. I brought that quickly to a boil (thanks to our super-duper burner, for which I am very grateful).
I moved the rice to a simmer burner and then heated a generous splash of olive oil on that same high burner. When it was hot but not smoking, I tossed in a package of firm tofu. This I had cut into four large blocks to drain in a sieve, and then cut into cubes the size of Vegas dice. I then added two large pieces of garlic rabe (not the head, just the stalk, which was thick enough to require snipping rather than slicing) in 1/4-inch pieces and about five large, hastily-sliced scallions. I added about a half cup of peas that I had just liberated from their pods and one small, finely-chopped apple. Yes, an apple for a bit of sweetness and texture.
All of this was cooking at high heat as the basmati (which cooks more quickly than most other rices) neared completion. Here is where I think I got smart; rather than adding a heavy sauce as I have often done, I added two or three squirts of soy sauce so that the tofu would brown a bit and then stirred in about a teaspoon of Asian chili Sa-Té paste. I stirred over high heat for only another minute before declaring dinner served. The result: a fresh, tasty and easy meal with a lot of local ingredients picked just a few days ago from nearby soil.