I shall write out on a chalkboard this sentence at least 300 times: I will never doubt my CSA again.
Only 2 weeks into this year’s CSA delivery season, and we got an email apologizing that due to the cold, damp spring, there would be no week 3 delivery with promises to make up for it later on in future deliveries. The rather small amount of vegetables we’d received in the first 2 weeks made me nervous that this would be one of those loss rather than gain years that you risk when buying a CSA share, but oh have I been proven wrong. These last two weeks have seen the height and variety of previous years’ peak, late summer share boxes. I’ve had produce drawers overflowing with veggies and have been struggling to not waste a single thing.
In particular, we’ve been hard hit with peas, as usual. I love fresh shell peas and the sweet crunch of sugar snaps, but the pounds of snow peas fill me with anxiety. I just don’t know what to do with them other than put them in stir fries or chop them and eat them raw in salads. Any new ideas– you are totally welcome to leave them in the comments.
So the challenge for me is to keep the stir fries and salads interesting. In this case, I was inspired by one of my favorite food blogger’s twitter feed. She’d post what else she ate during the week, how she’d use leftover ingredients from things she had posted about. A semi-frequent tweeted dinner idea was a stir fry but with ingredients I normally don’t see in stir fries, things like swiss chard and sweet potatoes. With a bunch of bright and beautiful rainbow chard (and still working our way through 2.75 lbs of snow peas) from the CSA and tofu bought on sale, I knew that a stir fry would be on the dinner menu. This one would mix some traditional ingredients (snow peas, tofu, ginger, eggplant) with nontraditional ones (rainbow chard, pistachios, and dill.)
I marinated the tofu in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, curry powder, coriander, and cinnamon then baked the pieces until they were crispy on the edges. I loved how the curry and cinnamon paired with the nutty crunch of pistachios and brought out that sweet green flavor of the chard. Plus, this stir fry, with its mix of purple, green, yellow, and pink colors was so beautiful to look at. A summery feast for the eyes and for the otherwise stir-fry-weary palate.
- 16 oz firm tofu, pressed between two plates weighted down to squeeze out excess water and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup low sodium tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for stir fry
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for stir fry
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided (yields about 2 teaspoons)
- cooking spray
- 1/2 lb snow pea pods, trimmed
- 1 small eggplant, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped
- 5 small green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon each of the following: mint leaves, dill, basil, and cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- steamed rice or noodles
In a baking dish, mix together soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon canola oil, curry, cinnamon, ground coriander, maple syrup, and 1 minced garlic clove. Add the tofu pieces and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, flipping the pieces over halfway through marinating time to ensure both sides are coated.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Reserving the marinade, spread the tofu over the baking sheet and bake for a total of 30-35 minutes, flipping pieces over halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is rippling, add the eggplant, stirring immediately to ensure that each piece gets coated with oil. Cook until eggplant is shiny and brown on flesh side, about 7-8 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add remaining garlic, ginger, green onions, and another teaspoon or 2 of sesame oil. Cook for another 30 seconds before adding the rainbow chard and snow pea pods. Cook until chard leaves wilt and pea pods turn bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tofu and the reserved marinade, stirring to ensure that all the vegetables get coated with the marinade. Reserving about 1 tablespoon each of the chopped pistachios and the mixed herbs, stir in the rest of the pistachios and herbs. Spoon stir fry on top of steamed rice or cooked noodles then sprinkle plated stir fry with reserved nuts and herbs.
CSA Count: 5
Rainbow chard, snow pea pods, green onions, dill, basil
Garden Count: 1