My son and daughter-in-law have a large garden in their back yard and one of their most successful crops is swiss chard. You know, anyone who plants swiss chard in their garden is bound to have success. It's hard to fail with this prolific leafy green. Growing it is good for your gardening self-esteem, but when you have a lot of it, you should eat it. Swiss chard has been off my list of favorite vegetables for a long time — maybe this has something to do with my past success at growing it, and eating it and eating it and eating it...But after having this fabulous curry, I'm thinking of growing it again. My kids all tend to cook "free-hand," but I've been forcing them to pay attention to ingredients and quantities so they can share their creations with me, and I can post them on this blog. My son made this dish, and he said in the summer he uses summer squash and zucchini, but his favorite way to prepare it is with winter squash. He said he peels and bakes butternut squash in the oven until it's soft, and then uses it in this recipe. We used to have a Thai food cart on campus that used both summer and winter squash in their squash curry all year. I like the idea of cooking with the seasons, so this recipe will be presented with summer squash.
Tofu squash curry
- 1 pound block extra firm tofu, cut into 1" cubes
- oil for browning tofu
- tamari or soy sauce
- 1 can light coconut milk
- small can bamboo shoots, cut into strips
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen is a good one)
- 1 tablespoon Sucanot or similar organic unprocessed sugar
- 1/4 cup basil (Thai basil if you can get it)
- 3 small summer squash, cut into chunks (or 1 butternut squash peeled and baked until soft)
- large bunch of swiss chard, washed well and roughly chopped, tough stems removed
- cooked (brown) rice
- Lightly brown the tofu in a small amount of oil in a dutch oven. Sprinkle it with tamari as it cooks. (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) Remove tofu to a bowl.
- Dissolve the curry paste in 1/3 of the coconut milk. (Curry paste varies in spiciness and some are really hot. Use more or less depending on how hot you want the dish to be. Use caution if you are unfamiliar with red curry paste.) Place in the dutch oven and simmer for five minutes.
- Add sugar, tofu, squash and remaining coconut milk. Cook until squash is almost done.
- Add chard and cover. Steam for several minutes. Remove lid and mix.
- Add basil and cook a couple of minutes longer until flavors are blended and vegetables are cooked.
- Serve over rice.