By Emily Weinstein, The New York Times

The sun is out. It’s time for the annual switch to iced coffee, or to buy Lambrusco and make a spritz. Summer is nigh! But, OK, let’s still take a beat to revel in spring. Many of the recipes below are gloriously green, and all are just the right heft for this in-between moment. Best of all, they are legitimately easy to make. Here are five dishes to cook this week.

1. Glazed Tofu With Chile and Star Anise

This sauce — a dark, star anise-spiced caramel intermingled with rice wine, soy sauce, ginger and scallions — builds sweet, acidic and umami notes as it coats and infuses tofu. Sichuan hui guo rou, or twice-cooked pork, inspired the technique which is used here with tofu: The blocks are first seared whole, then torn into bite-size pieces and returned to the pan, where the craggy edges absorb the sauce. Additions from your pantry, such as a spoonful of doubanjiang, or fermented broad bean paste, fermented black beans or chile oil can invite deeper, more complex flavors. Serve warm with steamed rice and stir-fried greens.

By: Yewande Komolafe

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounce) packages firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce (see tip)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small hot dried chile
  • 6 scallions, whites cut into 1/2-inch pieces, greens thinly sliced
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Preparation

1. Place the tofu blocks between paper towels and press gently to remove excess liquid.