The weather this weekend has been nothing short of glorious. After a long, hard winter, New Yorkers are eager for sundresses and sandals, outdoor drinking, and fresh vegetables. Alas, yesterday’s farmers’ market foray yielded less greenery than I had hoped. I did manage to pick up a couple bunches of small, tender collard greens and a clamshell of spring onion shoots.
The rest of Saturday was spent drinking Bloody Marys, craft beer and some ill-advised whiskey in a series of Brooklyn backyards. We capped the day off with a couple of hours of dancing to 60s soul tunes.
I awoke early this morning with a distinct craving for fried pork dumplings, perhaps with a moo shu chaser. But this didn’t seem like the best way to regain my health after a weekend of possibly excessive imbibing. And so I set about crafting a healthier dish that would take advantage of my farmers’ market bounty and satisfy my salt and spice craving.
Garlic-Ginger Tofu & Collards
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 one-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large pinch sugar
- 1 container extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into strips
- 3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
- 1 bunch collards, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 small handful spring onion shoots or a few scallions, thinly sliced
Combine the first eight ingredients in a shallow bowl. Add the tofu and stir gently to coat. (In a perfect world, you would have done this before you were ravenous so that the tofu had plenty of time to soak up the marinade, but my lunch was still pretty tasty.) Bring the oil up to medium heat in a large skillet. Lay the tofu pieces in, cooking them in two batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan. Let the tofu cook undisturbed until nicely browned, rotate the pieces and continue to cook until they are firm and mostly browned. Lay the tofu pieces on a paper towel to drain and add your collards to the skillet along with the remaining tofu marinade. Cook until the collards are wilted and most of the liquid has boiled off. Stir in the onion shoots or scallions and remove from the heat.
Rice would be the obvious accompaniment, but I went with quinoa cooked with chicken stock and satueed leeks. It was good. The leftovers should make for a bright spot in tomorrow’s workday.
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