purple asparagus and tofu in a radicchio heart

The bed of radicchio looks like either a heart or floppy ears.  Both – ears and hearts – are sensitive, intricate organs with many channels, just like love.   Asparagus was touted as an aphrodisiac in 15th and 16th century Arabic and Indian writings: consider this dish another valentine from me to you, dear viewers.

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serves 4

INgredients

4 large radicchio leaves

one bunch purple asparagus

about 5 oz firm tofu

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 lemon

pinch sea salt

Process Wash the radicchio leaves well and dry. Set aside.  Peel the tough outer skin from each asparagus spear.

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Wash them well.  In the meantime cut the tofu into oblong strips (about one-half-inch thick).  Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet for about 30 seconds; add the sesame oil and let it heat up for about 20 seconds. Then add the tofu strips to the pan.  Cook them on each side until they are a golden brown;

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remove from pan and dredge on brown paper bag to remove excess oil. Use a serrated knife to cut it into half-inch-squares and set aside.

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Fill a large stainless steel skillet about three-quarters to the top with water.  Add a pinch of salt and bring to a roiling boil. Drop in the asparagus and when they float to the top and turn more intense shades of green (leaves/stems) and purple (flowers), remove them with a wire mesh skimmer.

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Let them cool and then chop them into half-inch-thick pieces.

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In a bowl, toss the diced asparagus with the tofu squares.  Squeeze the lemon and pour on top.

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Carefully lay each radicchio “heart” on a separate plate.  Fill the cavity with the asparagus and tofu mixture

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and serve.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014