Monday, May 12, 2008

Meal for mothers

I whipped up a seasonal vegan dinner for my mother and Adam's mother in honor of yesterday's Mother's Day festivities. This ensured that neither of them had to do any work, and instead they could kick back with a glass of wine (Kungfu Girl riesling), while Adam and I made sure they were well fed. (It also proved a great excuse to get out the rarely used China.)
Dinner started with a simple and always crowd pleasing bruschcetta, made from Backyard Beauty tomatoes, Olivia's Garden basil, Maine-grown garlic and Maine sea salt. I spooned the mix over toasted baguette slices and they disappeared quickly.
My mother brought a jar filled with dandelion greens down from Sunshine Farm, and I chopped them up and dressed them with the most simple of vinaigrettes (organic olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and a touch of apple cider vinegar, plus just a hint of sea salt). Unlike the 1 to 4 vinegar to oil ratio of a traditional vinaigrette, I went heavier on the vinegar because I find the acidity is the perfect balance for the astringent bite of dandelion greens. I sprinkled a bit more sea salt on top and it was the ultimate spring tonic.
In keeping with the wild food theme, I also served fiddleheads from Windy Hill Farm in Windham. I sautéed them with olive oil, thinly sliced garlic and soy sauce. Here they are partially obscured by steam.
Lentil cakes served as the meal's main course. To make these I used my go-to mujaddara recipe, substituting a short-grain brown rice that tends to be much stickier than the long grain varieties. I formed them into patties and lightly browned them in a cast iron skillet. Thai chili sauce gave the cakes an added kick of spice. Olive and garlic rolls from Whole Foods rounded out the plate.
Finally, we concluded the meal with chocolate mousse pie. To make it all you need is two packages of firm tofu (I prefer organic Mori-Nu Silken tofu), a bag of vegan dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract, grapeseed oil, Maine maple syrup and a pre-made graham cracker pie crust. Pour about a 1/4 cup of oil in a blender and then add the tofu and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract. Puree. As it begins to turn to the consistency of pudding, add the maple syrup until it is sweetened to your taste. I probably use about a 1/2 cup. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and allow to melt. Once it's melted, pour it into the blender and blend until well mixed. Pour this into the pre-made crust and top with crushed walnuts or fruit. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving. Few will ever guess this is made from tofu.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hmmm...this menu gave me some very good ideas. I recently had sauteed dandelion greens that were fairly bitter, but I was able to correct this with some fig vinegar.