March 22, 2011

Sesame Stirfried Vegetables

The weather has been a little odd around here, hasn't it?  This weekend was definitely chilly. 

You know how some weeks you go to the market to get your produce, and you might even have a list, and you might even take two or three trips to the car to lug back all the stuff you buy, and you come home with a bounty of fruits and vegetables (and maybe even meat, rice and nuts too)?  Then other weeks you might be less focused, maybe because you're chatting with friends, or because you didn't really think ahead, or because it's just too darn cold, and you come home with almost nothing?

Yeah, this last weekend was the latter for me.  Grace and I visited Farmer Chris, got her free birthday eggs--did you know that if you get on his birthday list you get one dozen eggs free for your birthday??--and then realized we were freezing cold.  We met a good friend and opted to chat over Thai Coffees at Naked Lounge before continuing. When we made it back to the market, I envisioned the bok choy, cabbage, cilantro, leeks, green onions, mint and lemongrass I had purchased last week. Surely the produce bins in our refrigerator were full and I didn't need to pull my hands out of my pockets long enough to buy a bunch of greens, or some beautiful celery, or a bag of oranges...

Except that when I got home, our produce bins weren't full. I can't figure out what I did with that bok choy.  The leeks I used, the mint I dried, and the cilantro is getting slimy.  So this week I'm "being creative."  I've got some month-old carrots, a couple of winter squashes that have been sitting around for a while, some green onions, a few mushrooms and a very small cabbage from last week, and some organic onions and garlic from Trader Joe's.

Last night I made Sesame Stir-fried Vegetables and tonight I think I might dig around in the freezer and try to find the tomatoes I froze last summer.  Some sort of tomato-garlic soup seems like a good antidote to another stormy night.

Sesame Stir-fried Vegetables

I love this with carrots and cabbage, but it's also quite good made with only greens (spinach, mustard or bok choy).  Add a few minced cloves of garlic at the beginning and a generous splash of mirin with the soy sauce.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

1 tablespoon cooking oil (grapeseed is my preference)
3 or 4 big carrots, julienned
about 1/2 pound cabbage, shredded
6 green onions, sliced to be the same length as the julienned carrots
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
about a teaspoon of sugar and/or a splash of mirin
a good sprinkling of sesame seeds (1-2 tablespoons)

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat cooking oil.  Add carrots.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute.  Add cabbage and green onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar/mirin and sesame seeds.  Stir to combine and serve hot as a side dish to grilled meat and steamed rice.