Well, you may have thought that food posts and recipes on this blog were a short-lived experiment, but, alas, you were wrong! The lack of dedicated food posts is not so much because I haven’t been cooking (or eating out in places worth mentioning), rather, I’ve been quite busy with just settling in to North Carolina, and getting used to my new kitchen! Also, I’m now doing virtually all of my cooking together with Elizabeth, so I feel like I need to give her some credit as well. This is true of the dish of the title as well.
Before I get into the recipe, let me say that it’s a real pleasure cooking with someone, especially if that someone knows what she’s doing. This way you may end up combining flavours in a way that wouldn’t have occurred to either one of the ‘chefs’ individually. Anyway, on to food!
300g of (Smoked) Tofu
20 Stalks of Fresh Asparagus
1 Yellow Onion
Small Bunch of Collard Greens
1 Cup of Quinoa
Some Vinegar and Oil for a Vinaigrette
Serves two. The Collard Greens were all Elizabeth, but basically they were just sautéed with some onion in olive oil, soy sauce, ground allspice, and ground cumin. And yes, that’s a cup of quinoa — I’m learning to live with US measures, but I’m mixing these up just to confuse you…
Time required: ~45min
-Heat oven to 375 Fahrenheit or about 200 Celsius.
-Heat some water for the quinoa, or you can use a rice cooker; put quinoa in, it should take about 15min.
-Prepare two oven dishes lightly rubbed with olive oil for the smoked tofu and the asparagus; put them in the oven when it’s warm and bake for ~30min.
-In the meanwhile, chop the onion and the collard greens, and sautée with your selection of spices.
-Prepare the vinaigrette: we a used 50/50 mix of walnut oil and a blueberry infused balsamic vinegar.
-Serve the collard greens as a side, and the asparagus on a bed of quinoa, with the vinaigrette drizzled on top.
I actually wanted to steam the asparagus rather than bake it in the oven, but we’re lacking equipment for steaming at the moment; still, baking it works ok as well. The smoked tofu we used came in two blocks, and we just baked them as they came; the end result was a nice puffed piece of tofu with a crunchy outer layer and soft insides.
The sautéed collard greens were tasty and added a salty yet sweet spiciness. I also liked how the quinoa soaked up the vinaigrette, and it certainly complemented the asparagus nicely. The funky vinaigrette of walnut oil and blueberry balsamic vinegar turned out to be a success.