Monday, February 13, 2012

Meyer Lemon & Kale Risotto with Garlic Roasted Tofu

When risotto is relying on delicate flavors like lemon zest and kale to be the star, a great vegetable broth is of the utmost importance. Homemade broth would be the best, but if you can't make that happen use your favorite store bought kind.
Meyer lemons are one of my favorite seasonal produce finds. A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, meyer lemons aren't nearly as tart but have a great sweet flavor that makes anything you would normally put lemon in, immediately better.

Creamy risotto with meyer lemon zest and tuscan kale served with crispy garlic marinated tofu.

Meyer Lemon & Kale Risotto
serves 3
3-4 cups vegetable broth
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup arborio rice
zest of one meyer lemon
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 bunch of kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
2 tbl vegan cream cheese

Place the vegetable broth in a small pot and keep warm while you make the risotto.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and saute the shallots over medium heat until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, red pepper flakes and arborio rice. Toss to coat the rice in the oil and toast lightly, 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until it has evaporated completely.
Ladle in 1 cup of warm broth, or enough to just cover the rice. Add the lemon zest. Stir almost continuously until almost all of the broth has evaporated. Add the kale. Continue to add broth just enough to cover the rice and stir until mostly evaporated. The more you stir, the more starch will be released from the rice and the creamier the risotto will be. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Leave a small amount of broth in the pan so the risotto is slightly loose. Stir in the cream cheese. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.

Garlic Roasted Tofu
1lb extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, 1/2" cubes
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl tamari
juice from 1 meyer lemon
1 1/2 tbl garlic powder
1 tbl dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Toss the tofu with all of the ingredients and marinate for at least 1 hour to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing once after 15.
Place under the broiler for a couple minutes to crisp up the edges.

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