Locally grown spinach in February! Fresh from the Eggert Family Organic Farm on the Washington State University Campus. A delight I found at the Moscow Food Co-op this week along with local onions (and a variety of local root crops from Ronnigers Organics, but the root crops are another story!). Fresh, local spinach is such a treat when the temperature is below freezing, there is snow on the groun and you are starting to dream of spring and seeds and your CSA basket.
Wanting to chase away the chill of winter, I decided to make a simple spinach curry with tofu. If you are not a fan of tofu, you can use another pre-cooked protein like paneer cheese, chickpeas (my favorite are locally grown chickpeas from the Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative), chicken, turkey or pork. This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare, using fresh tofu, and serves 4.
Deliciously simple ingredients
½ pound fresh local spinach
1 small local onion, chopped
2 cloves local garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 cup diced tomatoes, include juice if canned
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pound firm tofu (or pre-cooked protein of your choice)
freshly ground pepper
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes. Heat coconut oil in a cast iron wok (or large saucepan) over medium-high heat. Add the tofu (or paneer) and spread out in a single layer along the bottom and sides of the wok. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the wok and set aside.
For a dry tofu (our preference), squeeze excess water out of the tofu. Place in a sealed container and freeze overnight. Thaw. Dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. Cut into ½ inch cubes. Cook as described above.
Place onion, garlic and ginger in the hot wok and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Stir and cook another minute until spices are fragrant.
Add tomatoes and their juices. Stir in coconut milk. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add spinach and cooked tofu (or the cooked protein of your choice). Heat, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilts and proteins are warmed through.
Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. If you are looking for a few more carbohydrates and calories, serve over rice or rice noodles.