Thai-style Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

This curry is my dream food. It has a wonderful, rich sauce made with coconut milk that’s heavily spiced with curry paste and aromatics, which is the perfect vehicle for your favorite vegetables. I used all the late summer stars: eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy. This is absolutely the time to use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have around. Green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, other greens, carrots roasted squash, or sweet potatoes would all be excellent.

To make it a faster meal you can skip the longer cooking vegetables that may need to be pre-cooked like the eggplant, and instead just use tender vegetables that can be cooked in the coconut milk. The one vegetable I will insist on is cherry tomatoes (or some kind of tomato), which add a bright acidity and umami to the sauce. I turn to this recipe again and again because its so easy to throw together, especially because the tofu just needs to be drained and cubed (no marinating or roasting/pan frying!). Sub soy sauce for the fish sauce to make it vegan.

My full share this week was mustard greens, kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, shishitos, bok choy, acorn squash, and apples. Since I had a two big bunches of bok choy, one when into this curry and the other I sauteed with shishitos, then served under dumplings (mine were frozen, but if you’re feeling ambitious try these) with soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, and chili oil. The kohlrabi may go into a big all-in-one salad, or I could lean into fall with these roasted root vegetable bowls. This heirloom apple salad and this roasted squash are both speaking to me for later in the week.

Thai-style Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

Serves 4 as is, or 6 with rice

  • 1 package tofu (14 or 16 ounces)
  • 1 large or 2-3 small eggplant (~12 ounces), chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 2 large heads bok choy (~12 ounces), chopped, greens and stems kept separate
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime (~2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup sacred basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350F. On a baking sheet toss the eggplant with the vegetable oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until completely soft and brown at the edges.

Drain the tofu and pat dry.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, and when it is shimmering add the ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro stems, and serrano. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are tender and just beginning to brown at the edges. Add the red curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it is slightly darkened and starting to stick to the pan. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer covered. Cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to soften.

Add the tofu, bok choy stems, and eggplant. Stir to combine, cover, and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, so the bok choy stems soften and the eggplant/tofu soak in some sauce. Stir in the bok choy leaves, holy basil leaves, and chopped cilantro. Eat as is or serve with rice.

Warm Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Sausage

When Will asked what we were having for dinner the night that I made this, I told him “salad.” Then later on, as I was actually making dinner he drifted in, lured by the smell of Short Creek Sausage cooking.

“I thought we were having salad for dinner?!”

“It is salad…with sausage.”

😍

Apparently I had misled him, but he was not mad about it. I love this kind of meal: one that straddles the seasons with summer vegetables but prepared in a heartier (and hotter) manner. It still feels light and just the right amount of cozy.

My full share this week was cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, shishitos, dill, green beans, perpetual spinach, and chard. I sauteed the chard put it inside quesadillas with black beans and cheese, then topped them with a fresh tomato salsa, yogurt, cilantro chutney, and tamarind sauce inspired by these Indian-ish Nachoes (NYT link). I may need to do a reprise of these creamed shishitos, which were seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made. Especially since Paul’s shishitos are on the spicier side, they were just delightfully balanced with the cream. The perpetual spinach will be sauteed with garlic and ginger as an easy side with storebought dumplings, topped with chili oil, Chinkiang vinegar, and soy sauce.

Warm Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Sausage

  • 1 lb green beans (different colors are great!), trimmed
  • 1 lb sausage (I used smoked tomato and herb sausage from Short Creek)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium tomato (~8 oz), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (I used dill, parsley, and 1 scallion)
  • 4 slices of good, crusty bread, chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Cut the sausage in half, then chop into large chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. As it cooks continue to break it up further. When the sausage is fully cooked and starting to brown add the cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, and garlic. Stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are warmed through and starting to break down and give off their juices.

In one more pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When it shimmers, add the chopped bread, stirring so it is coated in oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute, until the bread is browned on all sides.

Finish the salad by tossing the cooked beans with the sausage and tomatoes. Serve warm or room-temp with croutons on top.

All-in Kale Salad

This is my absolute favorite kind of salad. It’s a riot of textures, colors, and flavors. Every bite has a little bit of everything and it is an excellent use of whatever vegetables you have around. This version has kale, spicy salad mix, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, parsley, sunflower seeds, leftover chicken (from this), feta, and a Dijon dressing to tie it all together.

My full share this week is cherry tomatoes, giant tomatoes, shishitos, bok choy, kale, parsley, and spicy salad mix. I felt like I have not been eatin enough tomatoes, so I took one giant one, chopped it up, sprinkled it with fancy salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and inhaled the bowl as a snack. I ate the bok choy alongside this braised tofu, which didn’t have enough sauce for me (but anything can be fixed with some chili oil). I’m planning to use the rest of my tomatoes underneath some grilled steak with creamed shishitos. If you snagged some eggplant, I highly recommend these vegan tortas.

All-in Kale Salad

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few grinds of pepper

Salad

  • 1 bunch kale, chopped (~4 cups)
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch spicy salad mix (or lettuce, or arugula), chopped (~2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, grated on the largest holes of a box grater (~1 cup)
  • 4 ounces crumbed full-fat feta
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken (or 1 cup chickpeas/white beans)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (pepitas would also work)

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

In a large bowl add the kale and half the dressing. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale, so it turns from dull to shiny and significantly reduced in volume. When you’re ready to eat, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine. Serve with the remaining dressing.

Tomato salad with cucumers, feta, and savory

With all the beautiful produce pouring out of farm stands this time of year, its really less about cooking and more about just letting great produce be its best self. A sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and maybe a quick blister are all it takes to have a great meal or side. One of my favorite assemblages of vegetables is the exceedingly easy tomato salad. Chopped tomatoes make for a meaty base, their juices combine with olive oil and vinegar to make a perfectly acidic dressing, cucumbers and onion provide cool crunchy contrast, and savory adds the perfect herbal note. I gussied this one up ever so slightly with some feta cheese, but you can leave it out for a vegan stunner salad.

If you haven’t had savory before, it is a delightful herb with a woodsy flavor akin to rosemary, but the leaves are much more tender so it lends itself nicely to salads as well as cooked applications. If you are craving fall foods you could tuck some savory in with a roasted chicken and on roasted potatoes/root vegetables. If you are still embracing summer vegetables but aren’t afraid of turning on the oven, this pizza with cherry tomatoes and eggplant spans the seasons. This cherry tomato and sausage bake is one of my absolute favorite recipes, with an exceedingly high flavor return with minimal effort (don’t forget great bread for serving!). Savory would sub nicely for the herbs called for.

My full share this week was tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, kale, basil, dill, parsley, spicy salad mix, and beets. I was still working through a giant zucchini from last week, so I used that and some herbs to make zucchini fritters (NYT link) along with some Short Creek maple breakfast sausage and eggs for an excellent breakfast-for-dinner situation. Green beans are going into this truly epic roast chicken salad, but another great option is the marinated green beans that I love so much my mom made them for my wedding.

Tomato salad with cucumers, feta, and savory

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 medium cucumber (about 10 oz)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced savory
  • 4 ounces full-fat feta cheese

In a large bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Thinly slice the onion, and add to the bowl, tossing to coat it in the dressing. Let the onion sit while you chop the tomato and cucumber (peeled if the skin is tough) into 1″ chunks, half the cherry tomatoes, and mince the savory. Add all to the bowl with the onions and toss to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving. Cube the feta into 1/2″ chunks and toss in salad. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.