29 June 2010

Kale with Coconut-Crusted Tofu

This week brought more kale from the New York State farmers, prompting a bit more creativity to keep from getting behind. I'm beginning to realize the necessity of incorporating daily greens into my meal planning, clearly one of the goals of the project, but easier said than done.  Thank goodness I didn't get an egg share too.

I found this recipe for crispy kale in Food and Wine last winter, and while it caught my attention with its few ingredients, I was also happy to see its creator was none other than Heidi Swanson over at 101 cookbooks. I've been a fan of Heidi since she introduced me to brown rice syrup (preview of a future post), and think this rendition of kale is perfect for summer with the addition of the coconut, which coats both the tofu and the kale as they crisp in the oven.  

I've made this several times and usually skip Ms. Swanson's addition of brown rice as I find the tofu filling enough. I also add sesame seeds for a bit more crunch, and tend to reduce the amount of coconut. The marinade/sauce is a wonder in its simplicity and the flavor it brings to the kale. Don't overdrench your greens too much when baking though or you'll never get that super-crispy result that makes the dish magic.
Kale with Coconut-crusted Tofu -- adapted from 101 cookbooks / Food and Wine
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds kale -- washed and dried well, leaves removed from inner rib and chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 350° and position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Transfer two-thirds of the dressing to a large bowl. Add the kale, coconut and tofu; toss to coat, then spread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy. Stir once or twice and shift the pans halfway through baking. Return the mixture to the large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing . Serve immediately.

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