With the temperatures here in New York dipping below zero this afternoon, winter is beginning to lose its charm. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been cooking up lots of warm, heavy meals to fortify us for the cold. Today, though, I found myself fantasizing about the bright, fresh, tangy flavors of summer. Inspired by the ingredients I happened to have in my fridge (It’s too chilly to venture out to the grocery store!), this colorful Vietnamese-style salad is a great way to trick yourself into believing summer isn’t actually so far away.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tahini (If you don’t have this on hand, you can use an equal amount of mayonnaise or yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce (use less if desired)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of your choice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
- 1 6.5 ounce package of House Foods Tofu Cutlet* (or the firmest tofu you can find), cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ½ cup cooked green beans, cut into bite sized pieces (frozen work well)
- ½ cup basil, mint, and/or cilantro, chopped
- Generous squeeze of Sriracha (optional)
- Additional sesame seeds to garnish
*I love using this particular brand and style of tofu in quick meals as it is extremely firm and doesn’t need to be pressed.
1. Combine first seven ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork until smooth and creamy.
2. Combine tofu, beans, and fresh herbs in a larger bowl and add dressing from Step 1. Stir well.
3. Allow tofu and beans to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours. (This recipe is great to bring to work or even a picnic: just prepare in the morning, and it’ll get better and better the longer it sits.)
4. Before serving, garnish with a generous squeeze of Sriracha and additional toasted sesame seeds.