How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Apple Sa-Té

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.

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