After a weekend spent running against horses, riding horses, and partying hard in Wales I was after some home cooked, wholesome food.
On Sunday I got home at after a long journey back and delved into the fridge, coming up with carrots, an orange that had been zested so needed using up quickly, some kale from last week’s Crop Drop bag, and some tofu steaks (it pays to keep some healthy convenience foods on hand for times like this). I grated up the carrots and some ginger, adding rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and juicing some of the orange into it for a tasty salad. I quickly steamed the kale and whisked up a quick tahini sauce (tahini and some hot water to loosen it up – a lot of recipes call for lemon juice but I find it always curdles when I use lemon – best to add a squeeze after you’ve served it up). It was exactly what I needed to eat and was on the table in about 15 minutes.
For tonight’s dinner I again turned to the contents of my Crop Drop bag and came up with two glossy aubergines and an organic stir fry pack. This is a mixture of whatever is stir-fryable and in season.
This bag came with both red and white spring onions, kale, chard, and mizuna.
I decided to try a recipe from Anna Jones’ book, A Modern Way to Cook. Her recipe calls for kale and pak choi but I decided to sub in my stir fry pack, and halve her recipe because I only had two aubergines instead of the four the recipe calls for. So here is my version. Do buy her book for the original and loads of other yummy recipes besides.
- 150g brown sushi rice
- 2 long, slim aubergines
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- a healthy pinch of chilli powder
- 1 stir fry pack (bag of mixed stir fry veg)
- a splash of soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons yuzu juice
- 2 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown rice or white rice wine vinegar
- Get all your ingredients together and preheat the grill to medium.
- First, cook the sushi rice. This is how I like to do it: wash the sushi rice three or four times in cold water, until the water runs clear, then add 200 ml of cold water and bring to the boil. Put a lid on and boil for 10–15 minutes for white rice and 15–20 minutes for brown, then turn the heat off and leave the lid on. Don’t peek, as it will release the steam, which you need to finish the cooking.
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then cut the flesh in a crisscross pattern without cutting into the skin. Brush both sides of each aubergine with the oil. Place on a baking tray cut side down and grill for 5 minutes, then turn them over and grill for a further 5 minutes, until soft all the way through. Turn the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 and turn off the grill.
- Mix the white and dark miso in a bowl with the honey, mirin, chilli powder and a tablespoon of hot water. Rub the cut side of the aubergines with the miso mixture and put back into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- Heat a pan with a little coconut oil and sauté the vegetables until just cooked, then toss with the soy and the yuzu or lime juice. Take the aubergines out of the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Take the lid off the rice and stir in the brown rice vinegar. Serve the rice topped with the greens, aubergines and the sticky sauce from the tray spooned over. Top with more sesame seeds if you like.
- Isn't it lucky that one of Crop Drop's pick up points is a Japanese grocery, Sika Oriental Express on Green Lanes. They sell most of the ingredients but you will have to search further afield for the yuzu - I got mine from www.souschef.co.uk but I have also found some at Natural Natural, an amazing Japanese shop on Goldhurst Terrace, just off Finchley Road. It's expensive but worth seeking out.
- I served it with some of the leftover sesame orange ginger carrots from last night - it went well with the other flavours in the dish.