Yotam Ottolenghi's Black Pepper Tofu is one of the most flattering recipes I've come across for the soy product. Browned tofu cubes are drenched in an inky, irresistible sauce. It is spicy and surprising. Another typical preparation for me is cooking the tofu with perfumey ginger and garlic sizzling in butter.
Tofu and Brown Rice Salad, inspired by the Sprouted Kitchen blog, takes tofu in a completely different direction. This salad brims with color and texture and is rounded out with a savory yet light dressing.
Cooking the tofu in coconut oil imparts a hint of sweet, tropical flavor. In a pinch, you could brown the tofu in olive oil.
I fell hard for this crunchy salad. After making it several times, I swapped in peas for cucumber, pistachios for cashews and lemon for lime. I serve it all on baby arugula to stretch the salad and add even more nutrients. I recommend grating the carrots on the coarsest surface of a box grater. I was surprised by how much I preferred the coarser bits to their anemic pregrated counterparts.
Freshly grated ginger in the dressing brightens it up, but you can forge ahead without ginger if you don't have any. If you don't like cilantro, use Italian parsley.
Adding brown rice makes the salad that much more hearty. I like to make a big batch of brown rice at the start of the week. Then I'm just a bit of browning, chopping and tossing away from diving into this salad for dinner. And then again for lunch.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]