Silverbeet (chard) continues to self-seed in our vegetable patch, huge heads of the stuff sprouting from unlikely pockets, leaves the size of palm fronds, stems as thick as an adult hand span. Armloads come back with us as we return to the city, armloads that hardly make a dent in the crop and fill the back seat of the car, greenery poking out here, there, everywhere. I happen to like it like this. A lot.
Whenever possible, I also happen to like it, a lot, with Madhur Jaffrey's ginger-garlic bean curd. You'll need that old hippie standby of nutritional yeast here, easy enough to find in health food shops. According to Jaffrey, it simply cannot be made with either fresh ginger or fresh garlic. Knows her stuff, does Ms Jaffrey. Not willing to take a foolish chance, so addicted am I. Besides, the garlic's already looking tired at the market, sprouting those nasty green shoots that suggest it's almost time to get planting. Autumn's really here.
enough for 2-3 people with other bits on the side.
ginger-garlic bean curd (tofu)
from madhur jaffrey. i rather like that jaffrey calls tofu bean curd. it's a far more apt descriptor than tofu to the anglicized tongue, explains the process and what to expect of the stuff in two simple words. the recipe is given (by me) in teaspoons rather than tablespoons not to be annoying, but to offer a more universal measure. a teaspoon is a teaspoon is a teaspoon the world over. the tablespoon a trickier beast entirely.
pour 9 tsp of peanut/sunflower/rice bran oil into a frying pan. set the heat to high. cube 500g/1lb of firm tofu and arrange it on a clean tea towel, drying off a little excess moisture. when the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu and stir-and-fry until golden on most sides.
add 1 tsp of powdered garlic and 1 tsp of ground ginger to the pan, turn the heat down a fraction, and stirfry for 1 minute.
pour in 6 tsp of tamari, and turn the heat to low. keep stirring the tofu around the pan for 2 minutes. (nothing worse than burnt tamari.) remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over 3 tsp of nutritional yeast, stirring well. serve hot, scraping the crusty bits off the pan as they, naturally, are what you'll be fighting over.