Another oldie but goodie. I have been waiting to share this for a while. And now that I think about it, while the flavours are not holiday-themed, they are quite festive and cute as little mounds of green. A fabulous way to eat your greens: slightly sweetened, with a nice hit of vinegar, balanced by a homemade tahini paste and a touch of heat.
Courtesy of Terry Hope Romero’sVegan Eats World, I have told you about it before. Earlier this year, it was re-released as a paperback. Exactly the same as the original (sadly, including the subpar index) but it reminded me of some of my favourite recipes (Rob loves the Ethiopian lentils) and a lot more I still have bookmarked. With 300 recipes, this is a treasure trove of international recipes with a creative twist from Terry.
While I have many favourites from the book, the Smoky Sauerkraut Mushroom Soup (Shchi) is still one of my favourites we both really like the breakfast spin on bahn mi, I thought it was great to share a quick and easy way to add more greens to your meals. I have only ever made this with spinach, as is more traditional, you could also try chard, kale and collard greens. You no longer have an excuse when you come home with vibrant greens and uncertain how to cook them. If you don’t like leafy greens altogether, I suggest trying this similar dish which is Braised Tempeh with Green Beans in a Sesame Sauce. It is a bit more lemony but still very good.
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite international cuisine. The winner will be selected at random on December 20, 2014. Good luck!
Sesame Wow Greens (A Spin on Oshitashi)
Courtesy of Vegan Eats World
Terry’s note: Oshitashi usually is prepared with spinach in Korean and Japanese cuisine, but this method is delicious with young, tender collard greens, chard, or every-body’s favorite green stuff, kale. And of course spinach is a reliable favorite, and excellent mixed with any greens for this dish. This is a great side with roasted tofu or tempeh, or a light meal served with noodles with sesame sauce or as a starter for any Asian entree as a fresh and nutty green side veggie. It’s best enjoyed immediately after it’s made.
2 pounds greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens (see special directions for chard at the end)
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
A pinch of Japanese red pepper or gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
Additional sesame seeds for garnish
1. If using collard greens or kale, tear away thick stems and discard. Stack 2 to 3 leaves, roll as tightly as possible into a cigar, and holding your chef’s knife firmly, slice into the thinnest ribbons possible; each ribbon should be no thicker than 1/4 inch. Wash greens in a large bowl, drain but don’t completely shake excess liquid away (you want the greens to be a little wet).
2. In a skillet lightly toast sesame seeds over medium heat until light tan; transfer to a dish to cool and grind seeds to a course powder in a clean coffee mill or pound with a mortar and pestle.
3. In a large stainless steel skillet add collards or kale and 1/4 cup of water; if using spinach use only 2 tablespoons water. Cover and bring water to a simmer over medium heat; cook until the greens are bright green and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes for collards and kale, 2 to 3 minutes for spinach.
4. If the greens stick to the bottom of the pan during the steaming, add a few tablespoons more water.
5. Use long-handled tongs to transfer cooked greens to a large dinner plate to cool. When greens are cool enough to handle, grab a handful and over the sink or a bowl squeeze out as much water as possible. Repeat with remaining greens, then add the squeezed greens to a mixing bowl.
6. Pour the ground sesame, soy sauce, agave nectar, vinegar, and red pepper over the greens and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Gather about 1/4 cup of greens and press into a ball. Shape remaining greens and arrange balls on a serving dish. Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds.
Note: Chard: Use very fresh rainbow or yellow chard with thin stems; remove the stems and stack the leaves. Roll leaves into a tight cigar and shred with a sharp knife. Chop the stems into tiny bite-size pieces, no thicker than 1/4 inch, and set aside. Steam, cool and squeeze the leaves as directed for the greens, add the dressing and form into balls. Toss the diced stems with a teaspoon each of rice vinegar and soy sauce. Sprinkle the diced stems on top of the balls as a crunchy garnish.
Serves 2 to 4 as a side or appetizer
Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014