Friday, August 28, 2009

bitter, like me

I cannot remember which holiday it was, though I'm thinking Christmas, that my father-in-law sent us home with some terrific leftovers, including rapini/broccoli raab/whatever you call it. I had never had it before, but it looked fun and tasty with a verdant green coloring. Besides, I love broccoli, so how different could it be? Pretty different, actually, but I was right about it being tasty.

Quite by accident, I incorporated it into dinner tonight and had forgotten that it is infamous for being bitter and an "acquired taste." Forgotten, that is, until we started eating and Mister asked what the greens were, specifically, what was so bitter. Admittedly, it is a bitter vegetable, but in kind of a latent way. You don't taste the bitterness until the second time you bite down to chew it, and by the time you've chewed 3-4 times, you realize it's actually a delightful bitterness that brings out all of the flavors around it.

If you haven't guessed yet, tonight's dinner was Curried Tofu with Mixed Baby Greens. First some action shots, then the recipe:
I was so impressed by my thorny pile of rapini I had to take a picture
Here is a much-wilted bowl full of rapini, bok choy, and spinach.
After cooking, all 3 greens took up less room than the rapini did before cooking!
currying the tofus!
Dinner (recipe now...)
Curried Tofu with Mixed Baby Greens
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz extra firm silken tofu (Mori-Nu)
2 Tbsp oil
3 large cloves of garlic, pressed/minced
1" of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce mixed with 2 Tbsp water
1 bunch of rapini, chopped (also known as broccoli raab)
2 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
5 oz baby spinach
1 cup jasmine rice
scant 2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 tsp white pepper

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and simmer on lowest heat 20-25 minutes, until all water is absorbed.
Combine curry spices and salt in a small bowl. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a saute pan or large skillet. Sprinkle in the spice mixture and stir until smooth and fragrant. Add tofu and stir gently to coat, then cook over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a deep pot, heat 2 Tbsp oil on medium. Add garlic and ginger and saute on low heat 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add rapini and cover - cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bok choy and cook until wilter. Sprinkle in water and soy sauce, then pile spinach on top and cover to steam 2-3 minutes; stir in to greens to wilt. Remove from heat and cover.
Stir salt and white pepper into rice just before serving.
To serve, lay a bed of rice, then a layer of greens (using tongs) and top with curried tofu.
serves about 4 generously.

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