Thursday, July 3, 2014

Soba Noodles with Lemon Grass Tofu and Roasted Broccoli

This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken and grass-fed lamb cuts from Fair Valley Farm and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Blueberries (world's perfect pancake topping)
Lots of tomatoes (Romas and red, yellow, and orange slicers) 
Eggplants (try these grilled eggplant with tomatoes and mint)
Bell peppers, jalapeños, anaheim and poblano chile peppers
Artichokes, baby beets, new potatoes, and broccoli (try roasted, below)
Carrots, summer squash, and cucumbers
Chard, collard greens, and kale (try this chard and bacon tart with rye crust)
Garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass
Lettuce, including ready-to-eat bagged mix
Cherries and Blenheim apricots (from Washington)

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill

The farmers of Sweetwater Farm are always experimenting with new produce, and this season they lovingly raised their very own lemongrass for us. I used these tender stalks to infuse fragrant flavor into slabs of tofu (prefrozen to remove liquid). These were baked until firm and layered onto buckwheat soba noodles tossed with a lime vinaigrette.

For vegetables, I prepared these highly addictive roasted broccoli spears from America's test kitchen (similar in flavor to kale chips) and some seared cabbage with black Chinese vinegar. A satisfying summer meal that could be eaten warm or at room temperature if you are planning on picnicking over the 4th of July weekend.

Soba Noodles with Lemon Grass Tofu and Roasted Broccoli
serves four
marinated tofu
1 block firm tofu (sliced into 8 slabs, preferable frozen and then thawed to remove liquid)
2 to 3 stalks lemon grass
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
zest of one lime

Remove excess liquid from the tofu either by freezing and thawing or by pressing between two cutting boards weighed down with cans and propped at a slant to let the liquid drain. Slice the bulbs of the lemon grass stalks into half lengthwise and slice thinly. Combine the lemon grass with the remaining ingredients. Place the tofu slabs into a single layer in a small baking dish and pour over the marinade. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 15 minutes, flip the slabs and bake for another 15 minutes. Scrape off most of the lemongrass slices, cut the slabs into bite sized cubes, and reserve.

roasted broccoli (from America's Test Kitchen)
1/2 lb broccoli florets
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cut broccoli at juncture of florets and stems; remove outer peel from stalk. Cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths and each length into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut crowns into 4 wedges if 3-4 inches in diameter or 6 wedges if 4-5 inches in diameter. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

2. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.

roasted cabbage
1/2 head napa cabbage or a young green cabbage
2 Tbsp black Chinese vinegar or balsamic vinegar

While the oven is heating to 500 degrees for the broccoli, place a cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven. Cut the cabbage into 1 to 2 inch wide wedges and remove a triangle of the core at the base, but leave enough so that the wedges stay intact. Drizzle the wedges with a little vinegar. When the pan is hot, place the wedge into the pan to sear on one cut side for about 3 minutes, then flip and sear them on the second cut side for about 3 minutes, until the both sides are nicely chard and the interior cabbage is just cooked but still has some crunch. 

soba noodles
4 bundles soba noodles (360 g)
juice of one lime
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce

In a pot of boiling water, cook the soba noodles according to the directions. Meanwhile, mix together the dressing. When the noodles are cooked, drain and toss with the dressing in the bowl or platter you will use for serving. Garnish the sides with the roasted cabbage wedges, then the roasted broccoli, and then top with the tofu cubes. Serve warm or at room temperature.