Saturday, May 31
Grilled Veggies and Italian Marinated Tofu with Pesto and Bruschetta
So we had kind of a rough month and I’ve been really slack about blogging – my heart just hasn’t been in it. I’m going to just hit some highlights of recent dinners and then try to get back to being more reliable. So, here goes. One of the things we love about where we live, not just Atlanta, but our area specifically, is that we are close to pretty much everything we want to do, and most of it is within walking, or at least biking distance. We recently got bikes and have been some riding fools. We live really close to the Eastside Trail portion of the Atlanta Beltline and we love it. It gets pretty crowded – people, if you’re walking in a group, don’t take up the entire path and if you think you’re Lance Armstrong, find a better place to ride, the Beltline ain’t meant for that – but it’s still an awesome project connecting neighborhoods and is a great way to ride your bike to check out your friends’ new house without taking your life in your hands and riding on Moreland – if you’re not from Atlanta, insert any busy road that would be a deathtrap on a bike. Anyway, we’ve been riding a lot and in addition to the Beltline rides, there’s also the Freedom Park PATH Trail, which is pretty cool and gives us a car-free safe way to ride. We took it all the way downtown the other day. So much fun. Also, hills. Lots of hills. Anyway, one of the gems on the Freedom Park Trail is the Freedom Farmer’s Market at The Carter Center. OK, we didn’t really need bikes to get there, because it’s like a mile from home, but still. Pretty much the first thing I did when we got bikes was to get a basket for the front. Because I’m a girl. And I needed a basket. I immediately rode it to Sevananda and filled it with groceries. Immediately following that, I discovered that the front end was really wobbly with all that stuff in the basket. Undeterred, we decided to get up early and go to the farmer’s market. It opens at 9:00, and while we’re always up before that, we’re not usually in any fit state to leave the house. But I wanted more veggies dammit and I wanted to ride my bike to get them. So, off to the market we went. I’m kind of in love with this particular market because pretty much all the farms are organic. One of the first things we scored was an enormous bunch of fresh basil. This meant an enormous batch of pesto was going to happen. We also picked up a small zucchini, a few turnips and potatoes, some garlic scapes, a bag full of baby bok choy, a jar of pickled green tomatoes, a bag each of shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms, some of the last of the greenhouse tomatoes one of the farms had, and a big, giant fresh baguette. My basket was pretty full for the ride home. No. The bread did not fit. I ended up tying it to the canvas grocery bag with the handles so it wouldn’t fly off on the ride home, or in my case, the wobble home. Later that day, we rode over to Outback Bikes in L5P where we’d bought the bikes a few weeks ago and got racks for the back of both bikes and pannier baskets for mine. Much better.
So with all these veggies, and the ones we still had on hand from out Vegetable Husband basket, we had rather a lot to work with. Armed with the baguette and tomatoes, we decided to start with bruschetta. Seth used to make this all the time, and I’m not sure why we haven’t had it for a while. While the (sliced) baguette was toasting, he chopped the tomatoes, mixed the them with garlic and a little olive oil. Then he spread some pesto on the slices and topped them with the tomato mixture. We then died and went to bread heaven. When we got home from the farmer’s market I’d put up a block of tofu to marinate in the Italian Marinade from Veganomicon. I baked it while we nommed on the bruschetta, and then grilled (in the grill pan) a whole bunch of veggies – zucchini, bell pepper, Vidalia onion, garlic scapes – and mixed them up with the tofu and pesto. No tofu on-hand or soy intolerant? White beans are a great addition to grilled veggies and pesto, or if you’re a carboholic like I am, the veggies and pesto are wonderful over pasta. Grape tomatoes are also really good grilled with the other veggies, or chopped tomato mixed in with the pasta, if you go that route. We had a simple side salad topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to round out the meal. Happy veggieful tummies. And we've officially become those people who bike to the farmer's market. I feel so urban and hip.