Weekly Winner: Tomato Lovers’ Take on Fried Rice

tomato fried riceThis is the time of year when the farmers that sell the amazingly sweet cherry tomatoes at my local market actually start to recognize me.  I’m sure the rest of their produce is awesome, but I make a beeline right to the cartons of cherry or grape tomatoes.  I cannot get enough of them!

Since I always have them on my kitchen counter, I’m always looking for new dishes to use them in. My new favorite? Tomato Fried Rice. While it would make a lovely side dish to some summery grilled chicken or fish, I was perfectly happy letting it take center stage as a wonderful meatless main course.

This super-easy gem of a dish comes from Bon Appetit. So, before tomato season is over, run, don’t walk to your local farmers’ market and buy these luscious little jewels and make this dish!

Tomato Fried Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 scallions
  • 1 lb. cherry and/or grape tomatoes of any and all colors
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2½ cups chilled cooked long-grain white or brown rice
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (for serving; optional)
  • ½ lemon

Procedure:

  1. Trim dark green tops from scallions and thinly slice; set aside.  Thinly slice white and pale green parts; set aside separately.
  2. Quarter any larger tomatoes and halve any small ones..  Place about one-quarter of tomatoes in a small bowl; season generously with salt and toss to combine.  Set aside
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high.  Add reserved white and pale green parts of scallions and remaining three-quarters of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and any liquid from tomatoes has evaporated, about 4 minutes.  Mix in garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add rice and stir to separate grains.  Cook just to heat rice through, about 3 minutes
  4. Scoot vegetables and rice to 1 side of skillet, then pour half of remaining sesame oil into pan. Add eggs and cook, stirring often, until just set, about 1 minute. Mix into vegetables and rice then drizzle in soy sauce and cook, stirring, just until wall combined.
  5. Transfer fried rice to a large bowl or platter.  Drain salted tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and spoon over rice.  Sprinkle with reserved scallion tops and red pepper flakes (if using) and drizzle with remaining sesame oil  Finely grate zest from lemon over and serve.

Weekly Winner: Shiitake and Spinach Shine in Sensational Supper

mushroom udonMy ongoing love of noodles continues, and lately my taste buds have been craving the Asian variety.  My surprise, however, came when I discovered I don’t need meat to be totally satisfied and in love with a dish.  That dish is: Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach from Milk Street Magazine.  Another surprise, these were not the big, fat, chewy udon noodles that I’ve been obsessing over lately but the thinner, dried variety.  These made for a totally luscious bowl of noodles and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients:

10 oz dried udon noodles

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (divided)

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tsp white sugar

1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms (stemmed, caps thinly sliced)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

5 oz baby spinach

1/2 tsp white pepper

Toasted sesame seed oil (for garnish)

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Procedure:

  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil, add udon noodles and cook, stirring, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain.  Rinse with cold water and then drain again.  Toss with 1 tablespoons oil
  • In a small bowl, stir together sherry, soy sauce, sugar and set aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat remaining oil until shimmering.  Add mushrooms and salt, then stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and well-browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add spinach and the sherry-soy sauce mixture, then stir, scraping up any browned bits.  Cook over medium, tossing with tongs, until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the udon, pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water.  Cook, tossing, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute, adding more water if the noodles appear dry.  Serve drizzled with toasted sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.