Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spicy tofu with golden beets and beet greens

Alas, my vacation has come to an end. Truth be told, it ended a while ago, but with a million things to catch up on at home and at work, I just haven’t had the time to devote to this space. Besides which, those of you who know me personally also know that I’ve been spending some time preparing and launching my Etsy store, Five Farthings, which is another one of my creative outlets, albeit unrelated to edible goodies.

Before we go any further, the results of the spice set giveaway are in, and the winners have been sent an email with instructions to receive their gift. Thank you all so much for the comments, and please keep them coming. Without your feedback, there simply is no reason for me to continue with this effort.

Although I haven’t been blogging a lot since I went on vacation, I have been cooking. In fact, spring is such a great time for foodies in general, because menus everywhere are chock-full of farm fresh ingredients that are predominantly vegetarian. Granted, I often don’t know what many of these items are. Rapini? Ramps? Crucolo? Thankfully, the Portland restaurant scene is laid back enough that my queries as to their identity are generally met with helpful explanations and only rarely with incredulous expressions at my ignorance.

So with this inspiration from local restaurant menus and joyful trips to the local farmers’ markets, I have also been keeping myself busy in the kitchen incorporating new ingredients into my platter. Here’s one such recipe, Spicy tofu with golden beets and beet greens, that made for quite a delicious new twist to our weekly tofu intake. The sweetness of the beets is nicely offset by the mild bitterness of the greens, and you’re left with the satisfaction of having used up an entire big bunch of beets -- greens and all. This was the first time I had cooked beet greens, and I will definitely be buying more of these as soon as possible. Are there any greens that you have lately tried and enjoyed? Do let me know, since I love experimenting with substitutes for good ole spinach.

The recipe

Spicy tofu with golden beets and beet greens

6 golden beets peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
Leaves of 6 beets, chopped roughly
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2T sesame oil
1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small bunch of scallions, minced
¼ C low sodium soy sauce
¼ C chili garlic sauce
1 T all-purpose flour dissolved in ¼ C cold water (optional)

Heat oil in a pan, and add garlic and beets. Sautee lightly.
Add tofu and allow to brown lightly on all sides
Add beet greens, in batches if necessary, and allow them to wilt
Add soy sauce and chili garlic sauce and cook on medium heat until beets are softened
Taste for salt and spice and add more soy or chili-garlic sauce, as needed

If using, add flour dissolved in water and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Take off heat and garnish with scallions. Serve over hot steamed rice.

Cook's Notes: Given the sweetness of the beets, I thought this recipe could easily handle the amount of spice listed below, but feel free to scale it back to suit your tastes. I served this over a ½ and ½ mix of brown basmati rice with white jasmine rice cooked with 1.5 measures of water in a rice cooker. The fragrance and toothiness of this combination was just what I was after.


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  2. Thank you so much! Your site looks awesome, as well, and I will be visiting for more inspiration, shortly! Do come back.