It's time for my annual gripe about how warmer temperatures arrive in Minnesota long before the first produce of the year. The birds are singing, the days are lengthening, and I'm running through the park in short sleeves. It's time to move on from the comfort foods and soups of winter to something fresh and crisp. But the first asparagus of the season won't grace farmer's markets until next month, and the produce section at my local supermarket is looking a bit down-at-heel.
Thus, my arsenal of it-should-be-spring-already-but-I-live-in-Minnesota recipes, like lemon-herb chickpea casserole, that taste bright and fresh and rely on supermarket produce that holds up well during transit from more temperate climes. My latest favorite is this salad recipe: a couple of bags of prepared broccoli slaw form the base, with some baked tofu added for protein, a spicy peanut dressing, and a pop of brightness and crunch from a cilantro and peanut garnish.
Pressing the tofu before baking it takes a bit of extra time, but the chewier texture is worth it. I like to press the tofu between dinner plates with a small canister of sugar as a weight on top. Sampled on its own, the peanut dressing may seem overly spicy, but the heat is tempered by the slaw.
This salad works well as a make-ahead lunch or as leftovers, as long as you keep the peanut sauce and peanuts in separate containers from the other ingredients.
Adapted from the Kitchn
- (12-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 (10-ounce) packages broccoli slaw
- red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/4 unsalted roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Line a plate with several layers of paper towel. Place tofu on paper towel and then set another plate and a weight (such as a canister, jar, or can) on top of the tofu. Press tofu for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat.
Cut the pressed tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Spread in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until tofu is golden and chewy.
Meanwhile, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, Sriracha sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Divide the slaw mixture into four portions. Top with baked tofu and bell pepper and drizzle with peanut dressing. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.