Gingery Miso Peanut Sauce - Make a LOT!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I like to make a big batch of this nutty, sweet, gingery sauce to use in lots of ways throughout the week - as the dressing for a rice bowl, as a sauce for baked tofu, as a dip for carrot and cucumber sticks, a marinade for grilled chicken, and more.

It does require a little slicing and dicing and the use of a food processor but it's really pretty easy, especially if you are in the habit of washing your Cuisinart in the dishwasher.

I use garlic - not too much since I don't enjoy the feeling of being a firebreathing dragon after eating a garlic-laced meal.

Chopping garlic by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And plenty of ginger - peel it and dice it unless your food processor is magical and can somehow transform something so tough and fibrous into smooth and creamy without some initial assistance.

Chopping ginger by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

A bunch of miso paste. I've been using this mellow, white miso but that doesn't mean you have to if you prefer a different kind.

Mellow white miso by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Even more peanut butter, some soy sauce, a little toasted sesame oil, a little chili paste or sriracha, some rice mirin and a little bit of brown sugar though you may want to skip that if you use a peanut butter that has sugar added to it, and a few grinds of white pepper.

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I turn it on and add some hot water via the top to thin it and help make it creamy and smooth.

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Take the top off, taste it and adjust the ingredients to your taste. Then transfer it to a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the fridge, it should keep for at least a week if not two or more but chances are you'll eat it all much more quickly. Below is a pic of one of my favorite meals, baked sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli & spring onions, fried tofu, a little bit of pickled daikon and carrots and lots and lots of this delicious sauce. It ties the meal together in the most delightful way.

Tofu with peanut sauce, roasted broccoli & spring onions, brown rice & pickled daikon by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

If you want to take this in more of a Thai direction, add coconut milk, up the chili paste a bit and add some fish sauce. The fish sauce is stinky but adds an incredible, salty, rich flavor. Have a good Meatless Monday, y'all.

-- print recipe --Gingery Miso Peanut Sauce
Makes a little more than 2 cups

Ingredients

* 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
* 1 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
* 1/2 cup natural (the kind that separates into solids and oil), unsalted peanut butter
* 1/4 cup white miso paste
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup rice mirin (if you don't have this on hand, substitute either fresh lime juice or apple cider vinegar)
* 2 Tbsps brown sugar
* 2 tsps chili paste - I like Thai Kitchen's roasted red chili paste because it's not very hot and has a nice complex, salty flavor
* 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
* 1/4- 1/2 cup hot water to thin the sauce
* A few grinds of white pepper

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients except for the water in the bowl of your food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes, pouring the water in through the tube, until it reaches a consistency you like.

2. Turn it off, remove the top and taste it then adjust the flavors, as needed. You may want it saltier, sweeter, spicier, etc. Once you're happy with it, store in the refrigerator in a glass container with an airtight lid. Make ahead of time if possible, the flavors only improve with time.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Carbonated Maple Sap - Fizzy, Cold & Slightly Sweet

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The thaw has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. We're getting down to the dregs of our woodpile and I am heartily sick of trying to entertain my kids indoors and of the overlapping symphony of colds, flus and stomach bugs we've been treated to this winter.

Woodpile is getting rather low by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

With the thaw comes maple sugaring season and this simply delightful seasonal beverage.

Bucket for maple sugaring by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

All credit for this drink goes to my husband who came up with the idea, drilled the holes, put the spiles (great vocab word, right?!) into four of our maples, collected the sap and borrowed the SodaStream from my in-laws.

Carbonate maple sap a.k.a. maple seltzer by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

IT IS SO GOOD - subtly sweet with a flavor that can only be described as mapley (so much for originality...) and a delightful fizz that feels like Spring bubbling up in your veins.

The older child is addicted. And, yes, he is wearing an American flag pin - why should the flag be the exclusive province of conservatives?

Will drinking carbonated maple sap by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It probably goes without saying but maple seltzer is best when made with just-gathered sap that's still cold from the tree. If you need to wait a while, refrigerate the sap as it will go bad if it gets too warm.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Nutty Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad

Monday, March 16, 2015

Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

This is a gem of a salad. I have to thank my friend Margaret Mary for bringing it to a Superbowl Party last month. Although it did not necessarily fit into the theme of deep fried appetizers, it blew me away with its wonderful flavors, nutty heartiness and beautiful colors. I quizzed her about the ingredients and then recreated it at home a few days later with great results.

Forbidden rice by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It features "Forbidden Rice" a kind of Chinese black rice that is so nutritious it is rumoured to have been reserved for royalty only. Whether that's true or just a clever marketing gimmick, it's clear that this is a tasty rice packed with antioxidants known as anthocyanins - the same kind found in blueberries and acai and that sort of uber healthy thing.

Cooking the Forbidden rice by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

More importantly (to me, at least), it has a lovely, nutty flavor and a toothsome, slightly chewy texture. Plus there's the color. In dried form, it looks almost black. When you cook it, it turns a pretty purple-red color.

Kale brings its hearty, slightly sweet, vaguely mineraly flavor and provides a rich green base for this colorful salad. If you're interested in the health benefits, kale is truly a superpower, offering protein, fiber, Vitamins K, C and A, folate and lots of other goodies.

Kale for the forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness and makes them mellow and just the right amount of soft.

Washing beets by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The dressing is simple and good - garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and whole grain mustard.

Dressing for the Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Toasted pecans amp up the nutty, slightly sweet profiles and add some crunch.

Toasting the pecans for the Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Toss it all together, then drench it in the dressing and let it sit for a while in the fridge to soften the kale and let the flavors meld.

Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It's so hearty that it keeps well for several days in the fridge. Happy Meatless Monday to you!

-- print recipe --Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad
Adapted slightly from Allison Day's lovely recipe in the New York Times
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the salad

* 1 lb beets (you can use any color you like though there is something nice about the deep color of red beets)
* ⅔ cup uncooked black rice (I used Lotus Foods' Forbidden rice but you could use Lundberg Farms Black Japonica or any black or purple rice
* 1 ⅓ cup water
* ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
* 1 bunch organic kale, washed and dried, ribs removed, chopped or shredded

For the dressing

* 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
* 2 Tbsps olive oil (you could also use walnut oil if you're into nuttiness)
* 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
* 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
* 1 tsp dried thyme, lightly crumbled with your fingers
* 2 tsps sea salt
* Several grinds of black pepper and more to taste

Directions

1. Start by roasting the beets - if you can, do this step a day or more ahead to save yourself some time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the beets (no need to peel them) and position them on a sheet or two of tinfoil (you want a tight package so they end up kind of steaming in there), drizzle with olive oil and wrap them up well. Roast them for at least an hour and 15 minutes - depending on how large they are, it may take closer to two hours for them to cook all the way through - you can test by removing them and poking with a fork - they're done when the fork sinks easily all the way into the middle of the largest beet. Remove and let cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. Remove the skins - they should slip off with ease and cut off the top and tail. Cut them into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

2. Make the rice - add the rice and water to a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 or so minutes. Fluff the rice.

3. While the rice is cooking, make the dressing, mixing all the ingredients together well with a fork or a whisk. If you have a jar with a tight-fitting lid, you can also just cover it and shake well.

4. Place the chopped kale, diced beets and rice in a pretty bowl that's large enough to mix them all together in comfortably, drizzle the dressing over all and stir well to coat everything. Cover and put in the fridge to "stew" for a while - at least an hour and more is better.

5. Toast the pecans for a few minutes until they're nicely browned and crunchy. I toast mine on a sheet of recycled tinfoil in the toaster oven at 300 for about 5-6 minutes, shaking once to toast them evenly.

6. When you're ready to serve, top the salad with the pecans and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed, and serve.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gingery Miso Peanut Sauce - Make a LOT!

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I like to make a big batch of this nutty, sweet, gingery sauce to use in lots of ways throughout the week - as the dressing for a rice bowl, as a sauce for baked tofu, as a dip for carrot and cucumber sticks, a marinade for grilled chicken, and more.

It does require a little slicing and dicing and the use of a food processor but it's really pretty easy, especially if you are in the habit of washing your Cuisinart in the dishwasher.

I use garlic - not too much since I don't enjoy the feeling of being a firebreathing dragon after eating a garlic-laced meal.

Chopping garlic by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And plenty of ginger - peel it and dice it unless your food processor is magical and can somehow transform something so tough and fibrous into smooth and creamy without some initial assistance.

Chopping ginger by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

A bunch of miso paste. I've been using this mellow, white miso but that doesn't mean you have to if you prefer a different kind.

Mellow white miso by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Even more peanut butter, some soy sauce, a little toasted sesame oil, a little chili paste or sriracha, some rice mirin and a little bit of brown sugar though you may want to skip that if you use a peanut butter that has sugar added to it, and a few grinds of white pepper.

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I turn it on and add some hot water via the top to thin it and help make it creamy and smooth.

Blending the miso peanut sauce in the Cuisinart by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Take the top off, taste it and adjust the ingredients to your taste. Then transfer it to a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the fridge, it should keep for at least a week if not two or more but chances are you'll eat it all much more quickly. Below is a pic of one of my favorite meals, baked sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli & spring onions, fried tofu, a little bit of pickled daikon and carrots and lots and lots of this delicious sauce. It ties the meal together in the most delightful way.

Tofu with peanut sauce, roasted broccoli & spring onions, brown rice & pickled daikon by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

If you want to take this in more of a Thai direction, add coconut milk, up the chili paste a bit and add some fish sauce. The fish sauce is stinky but adds an incredible, salty, rich flavor. Have a good Meatless Monday, y'all.

-- print recipe --Gingery Miso Peanut Sauce
Makes a little more than 2 cups

Ingredients

* 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
* 1 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
* 1/2 cup natural (the kind that separates into solids and oil), unsalted peanut butter
* 1/4 cup white miso paste
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup rice mirin (if you don't have this on hand, substitute either fresh lime juice or apple cider vinegar)
* 2 Tbsps brown sugar
* 2 tsps chili paste - I like Thai Kitchen's roasted red chili paste because it's not very hot and has a nice complex, salty flavor
* 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
* 1/4- 1/2 cup hot water to thin the sauce
* A few grinds of white pepper

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients except for the water in the bowl of your food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes, pouring the water in through the tube, until it reaches a consistency you like.

2. Turn it off, remove the top and taste it then adjust the flavors, as needed. You may want it saltier, sweeter, spicier, etc. Once you're happy with it, store in the refrigerator in a glass container with an airtight lid. Make ahead of time if possible, the flavors only improve with time.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Carbonated Maple Sap - Fizzy, Cold & Slightly Sweet

The thaw has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. We're getting down to the dregs of our woodpile and I am heartily sick of trying to entertain my kids indoors and of the overlapping symphony of colds, flus and stomach bugs we've been treated to this winter.

Woodpile is getting rather low by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

With the thaw comes maple sugaring season and this simply delightful seasonal beverage.

Bucket for maple sugaring by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

All credit for this drink goes to my husband who came up with the idea, drilled the holes, put the spiles (great vocab word, right?!) into four of our maples, collected the sap and borrowed the SodaStream from my in-laws.

Carbonate maple sap a.k.a. maple seltzer by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

IT IS SO GOOD - subtly sweet with a flavor that can only be described as mapley (so much for originality...) and a delightful fizz that feels like Spring bubbling up in your veins.

The older child is addicted. And, yes, he is wearing an American flag pin - why should the flag be the exclusive province of conservatives?

Will drinking carbonated maple sap by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It probably goes without saying but maple seltzer is best when made with just-gathered sap that's still cold from the tree. If you need to wait a while, refrigerate the sap as it will go bad if it gets too warm.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nutty Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad

Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

This is a gem of a salad. I have to thank my friend Margaret Mary for bringing it to a Superbowl Party last month. Although it did not necessarily fit into the theme of deep fried appetizers, it blew me away with its wonderful flavors, nutty heartiness and beautiful colors. I quizzed her about the ingredients and then recreated it at home a few days later with great results.

Forbidden rice by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It features "Forbidden Rice" a kind of Chinese black rice that is so nutritious it is rumoured to have been reserved for royalty only. Whether that's true or just a clever marketing gimmick, it's clear that this is a tasty rice packed with antioxidants known as anthocyanins - the same kind found in blueberries and acai and that sort of uber healthy thing.

Cooking the Forbidden rice by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

More importantly (to me, at least), it has a lovely, nutty flavor and a toothsome, slightly chewy texture. Plus there's the color. In dried form, it looks almost black. When you cook it, it turns a pretty purple-red color.

Kale brings its hearty, slightly sweet, vaguely mineraly flavor and provides a rich green base for this colorful salad. If you're interested in the health benefits, kale is truly a superpower, offering protein, fiber, Vitamins K, C and A, folate and lots of other goodies.

Kale for the forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness and makes them mellow and just the right amount of soft.

Washing beets by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The dressing is simple and good - garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and whole grain mustard.

Dressing for the Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Toasted pecans amp up the nutty, slightly sweet profiles and add some crunch.

Toasting the pecans for the Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Toss it all together, then drench it in the dressing and let it sit for a while in the fridge to soften the kale and let the flavors meld.

Forbidden rice, kale & beet salad with pecans by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It's so hearty that it keeps well for several days in the fridge. Happy Meatless Monday to you!

-- print recipe --Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad
Adapted slightly from Allison Day's lovely recipe in the New York Times
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the salad

* 1 lb beets (you can use any color you like though there is something nice about the deep color of red beets)
* ⅔ cup uncooked black rice (I used Lotus Foods' Forbidden rice but you could use Lundberg Farms Black Japonica or any black or purple rice
* 1 ⅓ cup water
* ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
* 1 bunch organic kale, washed and dried, ribs removed, chopped or shredded

For the dressing

* 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
* 2 Tbsps olive oil (you could also use walnut oil if you're into nuttiness)
* 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
* 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
* 1 tsp dried thyme, lightly crumbled with your fingers
* 2 tsps sea salt
* Several grinds of black pepper and more to taste

Directions

1. Start by roasting the beets - if you can, do this step a day or more ahead to save yourself some time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the beets (no need to peel them) and position them on a sheet or two of tinfoil (you want a tight package so they end up kind of steaming in there), drizzle with olive oil and wrap them up well. Roast them for at least an hour and 15 minutes - depending on how large they are, it may take closer to two hours for them to cook all the way through - you can test by removing them and poking with a fork - they're done when the fork sinks easily all the way into the middle of the largest beet. Remove and let cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. Remove the skins - they should slip off with ease and cut off the top and tail. Cut them into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

2. Make the rice - add the rice and water to a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 or so minutes. Fluff the rice.

3. While the rice is cooking, make the dressing, mixing all the ingredients together well with a fork or a whisk. If you have a jar with a tight-fitting lid, you can also just cover it and shake well.

4. Place the chopped kale, diced beets and rice in a pretty bowl that's large enough to mix them all together in comfortably, drizzle the dressing over all and stir well to coat everything. Cover and put in the fridge to "stew" for a while - at least an hour and more is better.

5. Toast the pecans for a few minutes until they're nicely browned and crunchy. I toast mine on a sheet of recycled tinfoil in the toaster oven at 300 for about 5-6 minutes, shaking once to toast them evenly.

6. When you're ready to serve, top the salad with the pecans and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed, and serve.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.