The Lunch Bunch crew keeps swearing that soon, we'll enjoy our midday meal on our building's ample roof deck, sitting at picnic tables and looking out over the Hudson. This morning, as we schlepped our Tupperware-d dishes through the pouring rain, we knew today wouldn't be that Monday. Thankfully, we brought a taste of sunshine inside with late-spring favorites, like fresh asparagus, scallions, and strawberries from the farmers' market. Check out our eclectic menu after the jump.
Creamy Kale Salad
1 ripe avocado, halved, seed removed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale (8 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sweet, crisp apple, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. (It will be thick.) Season with salt and pepper. Combine kale, beets, apple, and walnuts in a large bowl. Toss with avocado dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Heidi Swanson’s Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce with Pan-Seared Tofu and Brown Rice
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 medium jalapeño, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 14-oz can coconut milk
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 16-oz package tofu, drained and sliced into 6 slabs
1 Tbsp canola oil
3 handfuls baby spinach
4 cups cooked brown rice
1. Make the coconut sauce: In a food processor, pulse garlic, jalapeño, and salt. Add oil and scallions and pulse. Add cilantro and pulse just a few times. Transfer mixture to a bowl and whisk in coconut milk and lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until golden, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into cubes.
3. Heat 1 cup coconut sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cubed tofu and spinach and simmer until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with brown rice and additional coconut sauce.
Sauteed Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette (a riff off of this Everyday Food recipe)
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2-inch lengths
Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. (If the spears begin to brown, reduce heat to low.) Transfer asparagus to a serving dish. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, toss, and serve immediately (or refrigerate and serve as a cold side dish).
Photography by Jillian Guyette