Broccoli Stir-fry in Sesame Sauce with Apple
1/4 cup olive/canola/safflower oil
1/4 cup Asian peanut oil
2 tablespoons apple cider or rice vinegar, or to taste
1/4 cup soy sauce (low-sodium is best)
1/2 cup sesame tahini or no-salt-added peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
pinch sweetener (cane sugar, agave, sucanat)
chili paste (or one very small chile, minced), to taste (optional)
5 to 6 broccoli floret heads
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 small-to-medium gala apples (or other non-baking apples, unless they're granny smith)
5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12-ounce) bag (frozen or fresh) snap peas, whole or cut into halves (optional)
1 or 2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta (any shape; optional) [u]Toasted Sesame Seeds[/u]:
1/2 cup black sesame seeds (optional)
[u]Sauce[/u]:1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add all of the sauce ingredients. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a simmer.
[u]Pasta[/u]:2. Wash broccoli and separate the individual mini-"trees" from each other with knife- make sure not to use too much of their "stems". Save a couple of the base "stumps", and slice in thin strips like carrots. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and let cook for a few minutes, stirring little. Add broccoli stump strips. Stir and cook until stumps are slightly more tender, but still on the crisp side. Add more oil as desired.
3. Add broccoli florets and a little more oil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add roughly chopped apple, garlic, and snap peas. Cook everything until broccoli is almost as tender as you'd like. Turn off heat for about a minute, then mix in cooked pasta and pour on some of the sauce, amount to taste, over the cooked pasta and stir. (Adding the entire thing would probably be too much! There will be some leftover sauce.) Turn heat back on to low and cook for ten more minutes, covered, so that the flavors mix.
[u]Toasted Sesame Seeds[/u]:4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add and toast sesame seeds until the seeds become aromatic and pop a little in the pan. (You can buy black sesame seeds at Asian markets, but if you only have white that's fine.) Make sure to watch closely, as the seeds are black and it's hard to tell how much they've cooked. Turn down heat to low and toast as long as you desire, stirring occasionally.
[u]Assembly[/u]:5. Spoon into serving dishes, sprinkle liberally with toasted sesame seeds, and serve.
Source of recipe: A favorite new recipe I half-made up. The sauce recipe (slightly altered), originally designed for salads, comes from Lois Dribin's "Not-strickly Vegetarian Cookbook"- which, title aside, I still highly recommend, as a vegan.