Saturday, August 6, 2011
Farmer's Market Stir-Fry with Mollie Katzen's Wonderful Peanut Sauce
Tonight we threw together a lovely little stir-fry, packed with veggies from the farmer's market. Our new town has a great farmers' market on Saturday mornings, packed with fresh, local produce, breads, cakes, meat, cheese, and even fresh pasta. I have to say though, I do often read and hear people talk about great bargains at farmers' markets, and I would love to know where those people live! For us, it's a little pricier than the grocery store, but we like to pick out a few fun splurges. Today, we picked up some fresh green beans, and a green and an orange zucchini. Let's not talk about the low ratio of fresh green beans that actually made it into the bowl. What can I say, there are worse things a girl could devour while making dinner!
We had some leftover "Wonderful Peanut Sauce" from a Mollie Katzen recipe we made a couple of nights ago. I figured I'd toss this over the stir-fry to save a little time, and it was, well, wonderful. Don't you just love the way Mollie Katzen names her recipes? The dreamy white beans, the enchanted broccoli forest...sometimes they make me giggle. Respectfully, of course. I mean, the wonderful peanut sauce really is wonderful.
The sauce recipe comes from The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without (also a great name). Now, if you remember how many cookbooks I have (and, well, there are many, many more since the last time we spoke), you can imagine that I own my fair share of peanut sauce recipes and have tried many. This is the one that I keep coming back to. I'm entirely lacking in loyalty to recipes, so when there's one I make repeated times, you should listen.
Katzen suggests serving this peanut sauce with warm or cold blanched broccoli spears, and I do, often. It makes a wonderful light supper, served with stir-fried vegetables or rice noodles on the side. It makes a lot of peanut sauce, and is great to snack on in the afternoon with carrot sticks or cucumber spears. It would make one heck of a dip for grilled chicken on skewers, or drizzled over cold noodles wrapped up in Bibb lettuce leaves. It's not cooked, which makes it perfect for a hot summer night. If you're using it in a hot dish, like my stir-fry, then add it in at the very end, just to heat the sauce through.
Mollie Katzen's Wonderful Peanut Sauce
from The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without
yield approximately two cups
1 cup good peanut butter (smooth, not chunky, reduced fat works fine)
3-4 TBSP honey (in a pinch, apricot jam is wonderful here too)
1 cup hot water
3 TBSP soy sauce (I prefer lite)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp cider vinegar
3 to 4 TBSP finely minced cilantro
salt (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
Combine the peanut butter, honey (or jam) water, and soy sauce. Stir and mash until smooth. You can do this with a fork or a whisk, but an immersion blender will make a quick job of it. Add in the garlic, cider, and cilantro. Add in the cayenne pepper to taste, as well as the salt. (I prefer it without salt.)