Miso Vegetables and Rice with Black Sesame Dressing

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook, “Plenty More,” arrived yesterday. I confess – I preordered – and was so excited when it arrived at my door! This dish looked perfect for a night in where I was feeling “comfort food” with an Asian angle. The key to this recipe is to prepare all the vegetables ahead of time, because they each braise quickly in a miso, vegetarian dash broth. I chopped all of my vegetables ahead of time, and plated them for easy access.

IMG_0745    This dish also has a base of sushi rice. I had forgotten just how tender and sweet this rice can be, even without the added sugar and rice vinegar you often find in other recipes. Sugar snap peas, carrots, cucumber, and bok choy from my garden (instead of the broccolini from the recipe) and some beautiful organic beech mushrooms. Topped with fresh cilantro, chili, roasted peanuts, black sesame seeds and rice wine vinegar, this was a great dinner, and leftovers made a great lunch the next day!

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Dinner Party Club – Japanese April

Tofu Pocket-Sushi
Tofu Pocket-Sushi

Longing for Spring, and overjoyed by the produce at Iovine’s, and inspired by the recent cherry-blossom festivals on the East Coast, I decided to go Japanese-style with this month’s Dinner Party Club meal. I started the meal off with these cute little “pocket” sushi – tofu puffs soaked and split and filled with saki rice, carrots, and black sesame seeds.

Fruit Spring Rolls
Fruit Spring Rolls

The first spring rolls of the year always come out a little lumpy, and these were no exception. They were, however, tasty and non-traditionally filled with kiwi, mango, chopped cashews and chili and served with a honey-sweet-spicy sauce.

Shitake soba soup
Shitake soba soup

Second course was a shitake soba soup that works on the same premise is my classic shitake udon soup, but with bok choy and frozen-then-fried tofu which has a texture my friends really like, probably because it’s meatier. Personally, I prefer the classic pressed style.

Deconstructed sushi bowls
Deconstructed sushi bowls

I LOVED these deconstructed sushi bowls, based on a recipe from epicurious.com. Boston lettuce bowls filled with sushi rice, topped with steamed snap peas, and asparagus, fresh red pepper, broccoli sprouts, fried egg crepe, enoki mushrooms, black sesame seeds, and just a drizzle of a sauce made from chili sesame oil and soy sauce.

Panko-crusted asparagus, spicy glazed eggplant
Panko-crusted asparagus, spicy glazed eggplant

Not the best photo, I know, but these panko-crusted and baked asparagus were really yummy. I dredged them in the remaining chili-mayo I made the week before (thinned with rice wine vinegar) and served them with a sort of half-sweet chili oil sauce. And a side of soy-glazed japanese eggplant, which didn’t look as pretty, but weren’t that bad.

Dessert? I forgot to take photos. But a big plate of ripe blood oranges and pieces of spicy mango dark chocolate. DPC is the best.