I know, I know another salad brought to you buy Nicole. I’m just taking advantage of all the great veggies while they are in season. I generally make a honey mustard dressing for my salads but I recently bought a light miso paste that I wanted dress up (sorry couldn’t help myself!). I already had quite a few veggies that I thought would complement the miso nicely, but I was stuck on what kind of protein to add to make this more of an entrée. I wanted to add fresh snow peas and right next to the peas in the produce section was tofu, the perfect protein for this salad. Even better the dressing could double as a marinade.
Let’s start with prepping the tofu.
When I am baking or frying tofu I always start by buying extra firm. I drain all the water and then I wrap the tofu in paper towels and then put something heavy on top of the block to extract even more water.
I thought this was a great idea. Soak my veggies in ice water (to crisp them up) and place the whole container on top of the tofu. Not so smart, as the tofu drained the bowl shifted and I ended up with water everywhere. I switched the bowl out for a heavy plate and got to work on my dressing.
I had read a variety of recipes for miso dressing but just decided to wing it, tasting as I went. Three cloves of finely chopped garlic (I’m a big garlic fan, so you might want to hold back a bit), 1.5 tbsp mild miso, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (no added salt needed!), 1/2 sesame oil, just under 1/2 cup canola oil and pepper to taste. This was tasty, but missing something. I added 1/2 tbsp unpictured agave syrup (honey would also work well here). In the future I think I would cut back a little on the soy and sesame, they are both really strong flavors. Mix well and you have a dressing and marinade all in one.
I opted to bake the tofu in the marinade since I was short on time. With more time I probably would have thinned the marinade with a bit of water, and marinated the tofu for a couple of hours before pan frying (I like the crispness of pan frying). As it was, I was hungry and it was already getting late. I put some marinade in the bottom of a pie pan, stacked the tofu on top, put more marinade over it and baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the tofu baked I prepped all of the veggies. Again, if I had more time, I probably would have cut the veggies into match sticks so it would look prettier but as it was hunger took over and I went for simple slices.
Clockwise from top left: 1/3 cup bell pepper, 1/2 an avocado, three radishes, a handful of snow peas (I’m always blow away by the high per pound price of snow peas, but this handful only cost about 40 cents,they are light!), four cherry tomatoes, 1 small cucumber, two small carrots (I got these from the farmers’ market so sweet!!), and three green onions.
I pulled the tofu out of the oven to cool and prepared the salad.
The veggies topped a baby kale and spinach mix. I only used two small handfuls of greens but more could easily be added to bulk this up. Time to finish up the salad!
This is how it looked before I mixed it all together. Tofu, chow mien noodles, black sesame seeds and additional dressing. This salad was surprisingly filling. I also loved all of the different textures. I’ll continue to try to perfect the miso dressing and this will be in regular rotation this summer! As a I had more than half of the tofu leftover and I’m looking forward to it with lunch tomorrow.
I have a bacon and fresh pea salad (with bread, I am a convert!) I’m thinking of sharing next. I also picked up the most recent Rachel Ray magazine and was going to see if the “thirty minute meals” really take thirty minutes. What would you like to see?