Tomato and Tofu Salad
This fresh, filling salad is full of vibrant flavors and a little crunch from onions and cashews. The recipe comes from Sakunthala Seetharaman of Silver Spring, who entered it in this year's Top Tomato contest.
It caught Joe Yonan's attention during the testing phase; because it called for roasted tofu cubes, that meant the ingredient list would be just out of contest range. Then he saw a few tweaks he thought could improve the dish. Hence, Seetharaman earns a thumbs up and honorable mention in the competition.
The roasted tofu can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Let come to room temperature before making the salad.
- 4 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, plus more as needed
- 6 medium tomatoes (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), sliced into thin wedges
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh mint leaves
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, deseeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice (see NOTE)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted, unsalted cashews, for garnish
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Have a rimmed baking sheet at hand, large enough to hold the tofu cubes in a single layer so they don't touch.
Toss the tofu cubes with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt on the baking sheet so they are evenly coated. Roast for 10 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown, using a spatula to turn them every 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Add the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, basil, mint and jalapeño, and toss to combine. Add the ginger and lemon juices, and season with cumin, brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss well.
Taste, and season with additional salt, if desired. Top with the cashews and serve.
NOTE: Extract ginger juice by grating unpeeled fresh ginger root with a Microplane or Japanese grater, then press the solids through a fine-mesh strainer to obtain the liquid. A chubby, 3-inch knob of ginger yields about 1 tablespoon of juice. (Alternatively, you can look for Ginger People brand ginger juice in some stores.)
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
Tested by Joe Yonan