Provençal-style veggie stir-fry

We’ve long enjoyed what I call “Provençal-style” concoctions, aromatic medleys in which I like to stew fish (generally salmon or catfish). This recipe is very similar to ones I’ve used before but with a few differences. I’ve adapted it from a recipe in our local paper that was itself an adaptation of a recipe in the Vegan Under Pressure cookbook. I’ve cooked it not in a pressure cooker but on the stovetop in a large sauté pan with a very tight-fitting lid.

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You’ll need two large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers; 1/2 of a large sweet onion (Vidalia or Spanish); 3 cloves of garlic; 1 pound of firm or extra firm tofu; 1/2 cup pitted black olives; not shown: 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves (fresh or dried); 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves; 2 bay leaves (optional); 3 tablespoons red wine (or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar); 1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth; 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (1 15-ounce can works perfectly); 3 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or basil leaves; 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika; olive oil.

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First, remove the tofu from the package to drain. (I set the tofu on a cookie cooling rack that was nestled in a flat pan.)

Next, wash, core, and quarter the peppers, then slice thinly into 2-inch slices.

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Set the pepper slices aside in a large bowl. (They look gorgeous, don’t they?!)

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Cut a large onion in half, then thinly slice and dice.

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In a large sauté pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, pour in the peppers and onions.

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While this is cooking (about 3 minutes), crush the garlic and put all the dried herbs in a small bowl, ready to pour into the pan.

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Add the herbs to the pepper-onion mixture. Cut the tofu into cubes, about 1/2 inch in size.

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Add to the pan, along with 3 tablespoons of red wine. (I used a Virginia merlot from Sunset Hills Vineyards.)

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Pour the vegetable (or mushroom) broth into the pan, then add the tomatoes. (I used fire-roasted chopped tomatoes.) Do not stir!

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Fit the cover onto the pan and let cook for 5 minutes.

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Remove the lid, then add the 1/2 cup chopped olives (I used a mixture of kalamata and Niçoise olives), the parsley and/or basil flakes (I used 2 tablespoons of parsley and 1 tablespoon of basil), the 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently, then put the lid back on and cook for about 2 to 3 more minutes over very low heat. And then it’s done!

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Remove the bay leaves (if used). Serve this over rice (either basmati or brown rice are great) or pasta. We served it as a side dish to parmesan-crusted boneless chicken breasts and it worked very well.

Now, conventional wisdom would say to serve this with a red wine. After all, red wine is one of the ingredients. And it includes tomatoes and chicken. But we served it with a kissed-by-oak Chardonnay from King Family that had lovely, light caramel notes. Absolutely ideal wine-food pairing!

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Enjoy!

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2 Comments

Filed under On Wine, Recipes

2 responses to “Provençal-style veggie stir-fry

  1. Hi Jill!

    Sorry for taking a while to respond! It was an overly busy weekend (5K race on Saturday morning, plus family events on Saturday afternoon, plus a busy Sunday — don’t know how that happened!).

    King Family wines are wonderful, aren’t they? I really love them. (We’re headed down next month for a vertical Meritage tasting, which we’re very much looking forward to.)

    And yes, I do have more pairings to share. I’ve been going through this blog, plus the Facebook blog as well, and will share all of the pairings as a brand-new posting for you.

    Thank you for commenting!

  2. Looks sooo tasty!

    I’m a huge fan of the gorgeous wines from King Family… what a lovely pairing. I’ve just discovered your blog…do you have more pairing suggestions for their wines?

    Thank you & cheers!

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