My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Monday, October 16, 2006

Green Tea Tofu Salad & Final Crop Share

Good morning! I’m here to finally provide some food updates and we’ve made some good things over the last couple weeks from the last crop share that we received. I’ll span this out over a couple days for your reading enjoyment.

Last week we finally made the Pan-Fried Tofu with Green Tea and Honey Dressing that we had mentioned awhile back and it was really tasty.
















Here’s the recipe:

Pan-Fried Tofu with Green Tea & Honey Dressing
(4 servings)

Dressing:
1 tsp loose green tea leaves
¼ cup water
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh mint, minced

Salad:
1 16-oz. block extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp loose green tea leaves
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
¼ tsp salt
4 c. baby green salad mix
2 Asian pears or Bosc pears, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes

To make dressing: Place tea leaves in a cup and pour boiling spring water over them. Cover and let steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Discard tea leaves. Combine tea and remaining dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Makes ½ cup.
Press tofu for at least 1 hour. Cut tofu into 16 equal cubes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add tea leaves, sesame seeds and salt, and sauté until fragrant. Place tofu cubes on top and pan-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn tofu, press into sesame seeds and pan-fry the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain tofu on paper towels.

Toss together salad greens, pears and tomatoes in a salad bowl. Arrange the tofu cubes over the salad and spoon the dressing on top.
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This turned out great! Be sure to use a large enough pan and when turning the tofu, place and press right on top of sesame seeds so they adhere and form a crust as you can see in this picture:
















We substituted sundried tomatoes for fresh tomatoes and substituted an apple for the pear as we have plenty of apples to use up! We ended up doctoring the dressing a little bit as the sesame oil is a bit heavy and the mint isn't to my taste. Next time I'd add more vinegar, less sesame oil, and I'd use rosemary instead of mint. Or, you can scrap the salad part all together and use the tofu part in a different dish.

On a sad note, our joys of crop sharing are over. I picked up our last crop share and will now be on our own with produce selections. I guess it's time to venture back into the world of regular grocery shopping. Here's a great article on our farmers that was in the local paper: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15753062.htm
















In this share, we received:

Carrots
Cilantro
Italian Parsley
Green and Red Peppers
Jalapenos
Salad Mix
Butternut Squash
Delicata Squash
Red Onions
Garlic
Baby Beets
Radishes (gone instantly!)
Eggplant
Broccoli

I also stopped at the Gardens of Eagan stand and bought a sugar pumpkin (for a future recipe), and some corn.

The butternut squash excites me. First of all, it is HUGE! Second, I have an awesome pasta, greens and squash recipe to make soon. Stay tuned!

13 comments:

  1. Tea salad dressing...interesting!!

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  2. I just bought a butternut squash this weekend, too! Yum. I thought for the longest time that I didn't care for squash . . . but I was wrong! Wooo-eee!

    Hey, when are we going to go to Kitchen Window? I was in there the other week (in search of a potato masher,) and saw all of the aprons, and thought of you! And how's your new job, too?

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  3. The salad looks yummy. I want one, but I don't want to go to the grocery store either.

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  4. Wow! That looks great!

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  5. I have a butternut squash that I need to use, too. I don't have any ideas.

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  6. That tofu salad looks so delicious- and the picture is so artful! I have a pumpkin sitting patiently, waiting for me to decide how to cook it- can't wait to see your ideas.

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  7. hey - welcome back.. I've missed ya. I love that semsame crusted tofu. I've gotta stop admiring from afar and make that someday

    Megan the vegan

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  8. Green tea salad sounds interesting and like something I should definitely try! I love your array of veggies from the crop share. It's got all my favorite things.

    Looking forward to more recipes!

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  9. the tofu with sesame seeds pressed in it seems right up my alley

    YUM

    teddy

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  10. Jeff - I totally was intrigued too.

    Catherine - same here, I totally thought I didn't like squash either, but I was wrong.
    We should plan a Monday or Thursday to do Kitchen Window.

    Taylor - that's where the crop share has been coming in handy - I don't even need to think!

    Nikki - it was so yummy!

    Claire - I'll post the recipe for the butternut squash pasta recipe when I make it (prob. Friday)

    Bazu - the pumpkin was so easy to make, you'll love it.

    Megan - you could totally master this recipe! I'd even suggest marinating the tofu first to give it more flavor, although it was pretty good not marinated.

    Axt - isn't it fun? I love all the veggies we get.

    Teddy - it would totally work for family veg night for you. Not sure if the fam does tofu, but this gives it some crunch and heartiness.

    -Crystal

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  11. I am so impressed with all the good stuff you two eat. The salad looks fantastic.

    Love You,

    Mom (Diane)

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  12. Gardens of Eagan, hehe that’s cleaver. I am so jealous of your crop shares, it all looks so good! I think I’m gonna try and make that tofu in strips so I can use it as a wrap filling, sounds delish.

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  13. Even though the season is over we'll still be reading yer blog!We've so enjoyed your recipes and photos. Next year we'll probably be offering a couple workdays for members to actually not only visit the farm, but to get their hands dirty harvesting, weeding, hoeing (and the list goes on). Also free u-pick cherry tomatoes (as many as you can stand to pick). The sungolds make amazing pasta sauce that freezes pretty well.
    Thanks for the season! laura and adam

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