Today I reeled beneath the weight of prophecy.
All morning I’d been sitting at my desk in a daze, still adjusting to the lifestyle in which I show up routinely at the same place and produce things on demand. (E.g., my vacation’s over.) Then, suddenly, a FORETELLING descended. And it spoke to me of lunch.
Lately I’ve striven to make mealtime into vegetable time. This means a lunch or dinner each day should be dominated by, and possibly comprised only of, vegetables. Sometimes this involves a bowl of sweet potato chipotle lime soup with black beans, or chomping theatrically into raw bell peppers like the host of Iron Chef, and those days are great. But sometimes it means picking through a moldy flock of cherry tomatoes, wiping the fermented juice from the last few that haven’t yet split.
It’s too cold and dark outside to grill on Smoky Joe, my trusty little hibachi. But – and here’s the epiphany – I do have access to the heretofore-untouched panini press that my housemate’s parents didn’t want anymore! That’s basically a grill pan, right? I could craft a grilled salad sensation!
Cue a sprint to the market. Fast forward to now.
Folks, this worked like a charm. I AM SO PUMPED. Witness the broccoli preparing to be seared:
I mixed up a honey mustard marinade (dead easy; whisk honey, dijon, a teaspoon of hot curry powder and a little bit of oil) and marinated extra-firm tofu slices while I grilled the vegetables. Portobello mushrooms yielded their moisture, becoming meaty and toothsome. The baby broccoli traded its bitterness for a smoky edge. Green beans sizzled to tender perfection. And look at the beautiful char marks on those scallions!
After grilling the tofu, I thinned the leftover marinade with rice vinegar to make a honey mustard vinaigrette. (A benefit of non-animal protein.) Then I chopped all the vegetables into bite-size pieces, tossed ’em, and tasted.
It’s really, really good. Crisp stalks, the tender mushrooms, delicate charred onion flavor from the scallions, with the tangy honey mustard binding it all together. I can’t wait to eat this tomorrow on a bed of salad greens! And stay tuned, because I’m gonna do this panini thing again and again. Who needs bread?!