Monday, August 23, 2010

Two Tofu and Beet Dishes

I went to the farm stand for some tomatoes, and also got a gorgeous bunch of beets. We only had the jarred, pickled kind when I was a child. I don't know why - they are so easy to cook and they taste so good - sweet and earthy. My favorite way is to bake them - just wash, wrap in foil and throw in the oven for an hour or so (1 1/2 hours for large beets). The peels just slip off when cool.

There was a lady at the farm stand who told me that she had beet and hard boiled egg sandwiches (with lots of butter) as a girl, because her parents were from England. I never heard of that, but it sounded good, so I thought I'd veganize it. My "eggs" were tofu slices fried in Earth Balance. I had intended to sprinkle them with Indian black salt, but I couldn't find my stash. So I used the very un-English Goya Adobo, a mix of salt, turmeric, garlic and oregano. I added extra EB on the bread and raw onion slices along with the tofu and beets. It was quite delicious. I think the hot tofu and cold beet slices were an especially nice contrast.

The next dish is the tofu "salmon" from the Horizons cookbook. The tofu is marinated in olive oil, beet juice, and seasonings and then grilled. Fortunately it does not taste like salmon! It is tender and juicy. Plus it is pink! It's hard to see in the photo, but the tofu is sitting in a pool of dill sauce. This was mayo, EB, a splash of vinegar, dill, salt & pepper. I would have liked more sauce, but since it is almost all fat it is quite caloric.

The beets were pickled with balsamic cherry vinegar. We have a store here that sells all different flavors of olive oil and vinegar. You can taste before you buy! The fruit vinegars are delicious but not always right for salad. The cherry worked very nicely with the sweet beets.

You may have read about Jim Lahey's Sullivan St. bakery and his no-knead bread recipes. He has a book and I found it at the library. You mix the dough, leave it to ferment for 18 hours, and bake it in a covered pot (you can Google it for the recipe). The "oven within an oven" is supposed to simulate cooking in a brick oven, and produce an artisan quality crust and crumb. I really loved the crumb - I have not been able to produce this with other bread recipes. See how large the air holes are? The crust was also good, although not as crunchy as a bakery bread. I thought the flavor was kind of bland, considering the long fermentation. But I will definitely try some of the other recipes that use different flours. It really was so easy and had such great texture.


Jacklyn said...

wow love this post! i love beets as well and grow a couple in my yard. I've only boiled them and never baked, I must try that next time. I bet it gives them a whole new flavor.
The salmon tofu looks amazing and the bread does too. Something I must try as well!

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

Neat stuff. Lots of new frontiers blazed.

Jessica said...

Everything looks so tasty! I especially like the "eggs," and having it on a sandwich with some vegan mayo and a tomato would hit the spot right about now!