Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Local Recipe Redux

Today I was craving Sweet and Sour Tofu. But we're not growing any citrus, ginger root, rice or sugar in these parts so I almost dismissed my craving. But I'm not one to give up easily- especially when it comes to a craving.

Here's how my brain was working:
Sour = rhubarb and sorrel
Sweet = maple syrup
Aromatic = fresh basil and green onion
Salty = miso
Rice = wild rice

This is my Minnesota in early Summer version of local Sweet and Sour Tofu with Rice. Here's the recipe with my notations for where it was grown!

2 cups wild rice (MN)
4 cups water
5 stalks rhubarb, finely chopped (about 2 cups) (Backyard)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (MN)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. miso (MN grown soy, homemade)
1/4 cup olive oil (CA & Argentina)
1 package firm tofu, cubed (IA soybeans, but shipped all around)
1 bunch beet greens, roughly chopped (WI or MN)
1 handful sorrel, roughly chopped (WI or MN)
1/4 cup basil, minced (MN)
4-5 green onions, minced (? ran out of local ramps & green garlic)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Combine wild rice with 4 cups water in a medium saucepan and heat until boiling over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender (about 45 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine 1 Tbsp. miso, 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the cubed tofu and toss to coat. Transfer tofu to a baking sheet, reserving the oily marinade. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir a bit and bake another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the rhubarb, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup water, reserved marinade and 1 Tbsp. miso in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is the consistency of applesauce. Smash it around a bit to help it become a sauce. Then add the chopped beet greens and sorrel, put a lid on, and cook until greens are just wilted. Last, add the baked/fried tofu and stir to coat the tofu in the sweet and sour sauce/greens.

When everything is done, serve a generous scoop of the wild rice with the tofu/greens/sauce on top. Then garnish with green onions and fresh basil. We thought a splash of tamari was a great addition at the table.