24 June 2010

Fresh Rainbow Chard with Tofu

We live in an area of the country that has a tremendous amount of bedrock. Call me Wilma, but we can't just decide to put up a fence or dig a garden bed on a whim! It's everywhere, and in places that it has pushed up closer to the surface we have actually removed the dirt (that was not able to hold a decent blade of grass) to create bare stone areas. Because of the difficulty in tilling the soil or even supporting a raised bed, we have chosen to integrate vegetables in our flowerbeds, as well as patio pots. We are discovering which plants work well in this environment and sticking with those few hardy takers.

One of the first things we were able to harvest from our northwest flowerbed was the Rainbow Swiss Chard. We've also harvested some broccoli from the same bed and are patiently waiting for the brussels sprouts and volunteer squash (or is it cucumber? time will tell). 

Here is what we did with the first chard of the season:

Fresh Rainbow Chard with Tofu

1 block Firm Tofu
Large bunch of Swiss Chard
1-2 cloves Garlic
1/2 medium Onion
Soy Sauce
Olive Oil or Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooked Brown Rice

Drain tofu and set on folded piece of paper towel or layered paper napkins. While the paper soaks up excess water from the tofu, prepare the following: peel and chop garlic and onion, wash and cut chard, prep wok or large pan on medium high heat. Put enough oil in the wok to cover the surface of the pan (but not to deep fry). Cut the tofu into the pieces of the size you want, then place them into the pan in a single layer. Be careful... You may get some *pop* with the water in the tofu hitting the hot oil! Season tofu then let it simmer in the oil for a few minutes. Flip them over and season again (tofu is TASTELESS so you need to season at each step). Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside in your serving dish.

If needed, add just another tablespoon of oil to your pan. Check your heat--if you're smoking then turn the heat down for the next part. Sautée onion until it sweats, add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add stems of chard and sautée for just a minute or so. Add the tofu back to the pan and drizzle soy sauce over everything in the pan (enough to change the color of the tofu just a bit). Move it around quickly then add the greens, then cover and simmer until wilted. Serve over brown rice. A complete meal!

Do tell...I'd love to hear what you do with your Rainbow Swiss Chard!