Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Broccoli

The look of these delightful bright green shapes send a 60’s vibe to me.  They are the stems of broccoli, peeled and cut crosswise like tree trunks.  When lightly steamed and stir-fried with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some baked tofu, broccoli becomes a summer meal with a whimsical flair.   

I learned about broccoli stem and sesame stir-fries from Kay Langan who I have admired for her cooking and general wisdom since childhood.  I think of Kay often when I cook and problem solve but I do not make her recipe for broccoli unless the vegetables are at their best. Gardens and farmers markets are delivering the most flavorful vegetables right now. Recipes like this will help you use every tasty morsel.

Baked tofu is a new addition to the recipe.  It seems Mark Bittman’s recipe for baking slabs of drained firm tofu basted with a little soy sauce and sesame oil is making the rounds in my food circle lately.   It is hard to mess up this simple technique.

The tofu is baked at 350˚F for 45-50 minutes until firm and a little crisped at the edges.  The result is a nicely textured and flavored firm tofu that can be sliced for a stir-fry or left in slabs for a sandwich.  Since it keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats quickly, it is worth baking a batch ahead so it will be ready and waiting when you are hungry. 

Delicious and groovy too, broccoli sesame tofu stir-fry.  Thank you Kay and Mark.  (Can I call you Mark?)