Hello dear friends! Unless you know me personally, you'll probably have wondered where on earth I've been for the last couple of months. Cooking for Sanity was really getting along well, and I was getting into a real rhythm of regular posts on Instagram, Facebook, and a recipe a week here on the website. Well just as things were really starting to take off, we moved house. This was something which was planned, but it has totally set me back in terms of what I've been working on with the website, and to add to it, the kitchen in the new house is absolutely not a cook's kitchen. There is a huge lack of surface space, lack of light as it has a rather small window, and nowhere near enough cupboard space for all my kitchen utensils. I sound a lot like I'm complaining, but I assure you I'm not; we are completely and utterly blessed with our gorgeous new home, but it needs some work! As I write this I'm sitting on the sofa in our stripped-of-wallpaper, bare-plaster-with-variousfixes-from-over-the-years, living room, thinking that I have so many other things to do, but that I must write up a new recipe because I don't want to get out of the habit.
Last week, after the initial excitement of the move had really died down, I began to come up with a few spontaneous recipe ideas, which I tried out and which came out rather well, so since it's an absolutely swelteringly hot day today, I have decided to share this one with you: Peachy Tofu with Crispy Green Veggies. Now tofu isn't an ingredient I ever had a lot to do with whilst growing up. It was rather the preserve of hippie vegetarians, and not really an ingredient frequently consumed by meat-eaters. In recent years, however, I've been using tofu from time to time, and myself and my boys (though sadly not my husband!) absolutely love it! I was thinking about how easy tofu can be imbued with a flavour, and how happily its edges caramelise with whatever is in the pan with it. This is how I came up with the idea of teaming it with fresh peach, because peach fried in a little butter is so delicious, and also caramelises beautifully, so I thought they would instantly complement each other.
I left the green veg raw, since the peach sauce is sufficient for them, as well as the red rice I served it with, so this dish really is so easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy it on a warm summer evening and let me know what you think.
- Pack of tofu
- Punnet fresh peaches
- Pack of sugarsnap peas
- About 3" chunk of cucumber
- 4 spring onions
- 180g red rice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp tamari
- Sprig of fresh thyme
- Knob of butter
- Salt and pepper
Remove the tofu from the pack then set on top of a piece of kitchen towel on a dinner plate. Place another piece of kitchen towel on top of the tofu, then place a spare chopping board or another dinner plate on top of the tofu, topped with a couple of tin cans. This drains excess water from the tofu. Leave for a minute whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Slice the peaches into smallish chunks then place in a lidded saucepan along with the honey, tamari, thyme leaves and about 200ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the peach is lovely and soft, stirring occasionally to help break down the peach, and the mixture has reduced by about half and has become a syrup.
Meanwhile, measure out the rice and cook according to pack instructions.
At the same time, put a large, heavy-based frying pan on the hob with a good glug of olive oil, and bring up to a medium medium-high heat. Lie the tofu on a chopping board on one of its large sides then carefully slice parallel with the chopping board along the whole centre, then slice as shown in the photo. Place the tofu chunks in the pan and fry until golden, ensuring all sides are cooked.
Whilst all the above is cooking, prepare the cucumber and spring onion by slicing into lengths. Set aside.
Once the peach and tofu have reached the stages indicated above, add the peach mixture to the tofu along with the knob of butter and salt and pepper, and increase the heat to further reduce and caramelise, but ensure there is still a good amount of syrup left and that it doesn't all evaporate; a couple of minutes will suffice.
Serve the red rice into pasta bowls, top with the veggies then the tofu peach mixture. Finish with a sprig of thyme.
I absolutely love this recipe because it is so easy, despite the process sounding a little long-winded; it really isn't, I promise. It also gives you the opportunity to try a couple of ingredients which may be new to you: red rice and tofu. I realise tofu has been around forever, but many people who aren't vegetarian haven't tried it. Also red rice makes a really delicious change from brown or basmati rice. It has a lovely, substantial, nutty flavour and I buy it from the whole foods section in Tesco, though you can get it in health food shops, whole food markets &c.
So try this out if you're looking to make something different but easy, and super duper healthy. My children gobbled it all up, and even husb enjoyed it. Well, everything but the tofu that is...!
Thank you so much, as always, for reading 🙂