Monday, December 31, 2007
Unusual green. A visit to the Farmer's Market in San Rafael last Thursday had me doing a double take when I saw this unusual vegetable, a tatsoi. One of the women behind the table said, "It tastes good sauteed with garlic and olive oil.". That was enough to seal the deal and a head of it popped in the bag with the shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves).
So how would I use these? I made up my own dish, Tatsoi sauteed with mushrooms and garlic over homemade zaru tofu.
First, I made tofu to the curdle stage from scratch, starting with soaking the dried soybeans overnight. I have a detailed post on making tofu from earlier this year. To make this dish, I cut the recipe for tofu in half. I also didn't let it curdle all the way before draining until about 1/2 was drained, using cheese cloth as a liner I then picked it up and squeezed it a bit to get this very homemade, still warm and soft tofu rounded ball. It's hard to describe just how amazingly good tofu is right out of the mold, made very naturally without preservatives. But it was even better with the topping!
You could definitely use some store bought soft tofu warmed and cubed underneath the following topping if you would like to try this dish. To make the topping, saute 8 oz of sliced white mushrooms with slivers of a clove of garlic in a generous amount of sesame oil until the mushrooms have significantly reduced in size. When satisfied with the appearance of the mushrooms, add the head of tatsoi separated into its individual spoon-like leaves, and saute until the tatsoi is wilted to your taste. When it is done, pour over the tofu, starting with the liqueur from the saute in the pan because it is what flavors the blandish warm tofu underneath. And there it is, ready to serve! Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.
This is also my last entry for 2007 in Weekend Herb Blogging and also my last post for 2007! This week, starting with the last day of the year and going into 2008, the event is being hosted by the event's originator, Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen. Be sure to visit her blog this upcoming Sunday to see fabulous posts on herbs and other things that grow, dreamed up by cooks spanning the globe.
Tatsoi is a kind of Asian mustard green which is also related and tastes similar to bok choy. There is not a lot of information on the web about it, but I found a nice article at the San Francisco Chronicle that has some good things to say about this hearty green that can even be harvested from underneath snow!
Happy New Year's Eve!