Vegetarian Udon Soup, Gingered Baby Bok Choy, and Coconut Sorbet with Pineapple

by Kelly on December 4, 2009

I’m always pretty glum on the last CSA pickup of the season. What is there to look forward to food-wise for the next six months, except maybe a month or two of good oranges and our pork delivery? I already miss the corn, zucchini, basil and tomato overload of September. I’m fortunate that our CSA delivers through November; I like that we can eat seasonally and locally until winter begins in full force. This week’s box was filled with winter squash, celeriac root, and broccoli. To my surprise, we also received a few bunches of beautiful baby bok choy. The bright emerald green leaves and pale tender stems were almost too pretty to eat, but we had guests for dinner so I had to sacrifice them.

Dessert was almost embarrassingly simple to make, decadent tasting, and gluten-free. The coconut sorbet tasted especially nice when paired with fresh pineapple.

Vegetarian Udon Soup

Serves 4

12 oz (340 g) udon noodles
6 cups (1 1/2 liters) broth
1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
14 oz (400 g) firm tofu, diced
1 daikon, peeled and cut into thin half moons

6 oz (170 g) pea pods
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 oz (110 g) shitake, cremini, or enoki mushrooms (or 2 oz (60 g) dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated), sliced
8 oz (225 g) spinach leaves
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons miso paste dissolved into 1 cup (240 ml) hot water
1 carrot, shredded
Siracha hot sauce or ground dried chiles

Cook the udon in salted boiling water until tender, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.

Meanwhile, place the broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the sesame oil, tamari, ginger, tofu and daikon. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the pea pods, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the spinach and scallions. Stir in the miso paste and water.

To serve, divide the udon noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles and garnish with a bit of shredded carrot. Season with more sesame oil, tamari, and siracha or ground chiles, to taste.

***

Gingered Baby Bok Choy

Serves 4

1 lb (450 g) baby bok choy
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (225 g) mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Trim the stem ends off the bok choy and discard. Cut the top leaf portion from the bok choy stalk portion and set aside. Slice the bok choy stalks lengthwise into 1/2 inch-wide pieces.

Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan over a high heat. When the oil is hot, stir in the grated ginger and minced garlic. Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the stalks of the bok choy and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Sitr in the leaf portion of the bok choy and continue to cook over a high heat, stirring constantly until the leaves are wilted. Turn off the heat and drizzle the sesame oil over the bok choy. Serve immediately.

***

Coconut Sorbet
adapted from the Blue Ginger restaurant, Wellesley, MA

Makes 1 quart (about 1 liter)

2 x 14 -oz (400-ml) cans coconut milk
1 cup (80 g) dessicated coconut
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 pineapple, rind removed, cored, quartered and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, coconut, and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 2 hours. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve with fresh pineapple.

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