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Monday, August 25, 2014

Fig, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice with Piccata Sauce for One

Today is the second of my Fig-a-palloosa week. I'm obsessed with figs, and I'm showing the world, like carrying a banner! The trumpets blare, "Figs! Figs! Figs-a-figgy Figs!"

All of you who live far away, you make these recipes, but those who live near me, please just bring me the figs. All of the figgies! Hurry!  

1 smallish sweet potato
5 TBLSP wild rice
1 teaspoon vegan butter
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh figs, chopped into ½-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
1.     Rinse the sweet potato and poke holes in it with a fork. Wrap it in aluminum foil and bake until tender, between 45 and 60 minutes.
2.     Meanwhile, boil plenty of water, add the wild rice, and boil, covered, until tender, also about 45 to 60 minutes. Drain the rice and put it into your serving bowl.
a.     If you’re going to make a sauce for this, you can do that during this cooking time. I’m using a piccata sauce that I’ve adapted from The Candle CafĂ© Cookbook. It’s included below. But it’s fine with no sauce, or with pesto, Alfredo, creamy avocado, Green Goddess—whatever you like!
3.     Heat the butter in a pan and cook the garlic and fig pieces in it over medium heat, stirring often, until the garlic is crispy and the figs are starting to relax, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4.     Free the sweet potato from its aluminum jacket and cut it into 1/2-inch chunks. Put them with the rice and add the figs and garlic to it.

This makes a nice side dish, or you could add nuts, tofu, seitan, or tempeh to it, and make a main dish out of it. Yummy! (You might also stuff a “Field Roast” with it for the holidays, as I originally found this as a chicken-stuffing recipe.)

It’s not quite as yummy with dried figs because it’s sweeter, but it’s still pretty good. You could also do it with ordinary white or brown rice, or Trader Joe’s Rice Medley that has mustard seeds in it.

Piccata Sauce for One

2 TBLSP olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 TBLSP yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 TBLSP capers, drained and chopped (if they’re large ones)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 TBLSP lemon juice
¼ cup water (or veggie broth, if you have a clear, unsalted, light one)
2 teaspoons unbleached flour
1 TBLSP vegan butter
2 TBLSP parsley or cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the shallots, onions, garlic, and capers, and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and cook until it’s reduced by half, maybe 5 minutes, depending on how high your burner is turned.
  3. Whisk in the lemon juice and let it reduce a bit more.
  4. Add the water and the flour, and bring it back to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for about a minute.
  6. Whisk in the butter, parsley, salt, and pepper.

This is a great sauce over seitan steaks, rice, pasta, steamed veggies—just about anything you can think of! It’s just the right combination of sweet and sour, vinegar and spice.

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