Despite the dreary San Francisco weather (it is August, right?), I've been reminded once again why I love this city. It's the food, mostly. Last night we ate at a trendy little Italian/Californian restaurant, which, for San Francisco is just a typical spot. By any other city's standards, of course, it would be quite remarkable. My favorite dish was the arugula and nectarine salad that I ordered, which came with ricotta salata, green olives, and walnuts. Although the ricotta made it a bit on the salty side for my tastes, the arugula was perfect: spicy and zesty without being bitter.
Today, we made a trip to the Ferry Building, which is perhaps one of my favorite places, ever. No farmers market today, but we needed to get a gift (we're staying at a house in Sonoma tonight), and the Ferry Building is the perfect place for that sort of thing. We decided on a slim bottle of tangerine-infused olive oil, some olive oil-lemon verbena soap, a moscatel vinegar, and some ridiculously cool-looking and expensive dried pasta.
Naturally, we couldn't leave without getting a few gifts for ourselves: several free samples of Scharffen Berger chocolate, a jicama and grapefruit salad from the Slanted Door (the inspiration for this salad), and a loaf of the most wonderful bread I've ever tasted: whole-wheat cranberry walnut from Acme Bread. If only I could make bread that good...
We are having dinner out tonight in Sonoma, and are going to Ubuntu tomorrow for lunch (and a yoga class for me!). I'll be sure to let you all know how it is. For now, I decided this might be a good opportunity to post a few homey recipes that are a) delicious and easy, b) staples of our daily dinner repertoire, and c) not exactly photogenic. I'll try to post some pictures from our travels even though we don't have our nice camera, and give you a peek into everyday eating at the Red Ramekin kitchen, too. I'll start with a quick favorite: tofu and veggies never disappoints!
[My favorite salad]
Miso-glazed Tofu and Crucifers with Nori Rice
1-2 boxes Mori-Nu tofu (or your favorite type of silken tofu)
1/2 head of green cabbage and/or a few stalks of broccoli
oil or cooking spray
For Miso Glaze:
2-3 tbs. miso
1 tbs. warm water
generous splash of rice vinegar
splash of soy sauce
grated ginger, to taste
~1 tsp. sugar or honey, or to taste
chili-garlic paste, to taste
For Rice (or substitute quinoa)
1 c. brown rice (or quinoa)
water, for cooking
1 sheet roasted nori
splash of rice vinegar
1 tsp. miso
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Mix miso glaze: Mix miso and warm water until miso reaches a sauce-like consistency. Add remaining ingredients, combine, and taste. Adjust flavors to your liking (add more sugar, vinegar, etc.). Chop cabbage and broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces, and chop tofu into 1-in. cubes. Heat a bit of oil in a wok, and, when hot, add vegetables. Stir-fry until beginning to brown, add some glaze and perhaps a splash of extra soy sauce, and then cover until slightly softened. Remove lid and add additional glaze to taste. Remove from pan, add a bit more oil, and then add cubed tofu. Let cook until beginning to brown, then add remaining glaze. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, prepare rice or quinoa in a rice-cooker: Add grains and water to rice-cooker, crumble the sheet of nori into the bowl, and cook as usual. When fully cooked, mix miso with a bit of vinegar to soften, and add to the rice. Add more vinegar to taste, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with tofu and vegetables.