I’m a little embarrassed to say, but during the year and a half we called Colorado home there were a series of boxes we neglected to unpack which stood on top of one another in the corner of the living room. To redeem our laziness, however, I’m happy to report that after only three weeks in our new-to-us home here in California, we currently have fewer boxes to unpack than the aforementioned stack. This is a good sign, and helping to declutter our space in time for my mom to drive over from Phoenix this weekend! It’s hard to convey the level of excitement I’m feeling about having my sweet momma (and best friend) come hang out with me for a few days. But try to imagine a little kid in his favorite superman suit eating an ice cream cone while having a sleep over with all of his friends wearing glow-sticks in Disneyland (why did I make this hypothetical kid a “he”? I’m a “she”, I swear). That’s about a quarter of the level of excitement in my bones right now. Excuse me while I go do a zillion happy dances and whip up every recipe I’ve ever created for her to taste. Come hungry, momma!
In the midst of all the dancing and cooking – time is a exceptionally valuable commodity as of late. With the balancing act of settling into a new home, figuring out a work life balance (seeing as we both work from home now, and can easily work all the time), and trying to intentionally prioritize time with friends. A huge time saver around our home during the summer just so happens to be a hefty flavor enhancer, as well as a jolt of nutrients. Salad. I have had a few recipes of the sort floating around in this space lately. One, because it is summer and fresh food is abundant, and two, because it is a real reflection on what I eat on a daily basis. I love a big bowl of raw veggies everyday, and have been challenging myself to create a few variations for both my, and your, pallets’ sake.
The Chinese tofu chop salad, not one you haven’t seen before, but with a few twists. It is a mixture of shredded carrots, cabbage, and romaine tossed with sliced scallions, snow peas, and blanched almonds. A little baked tofu for protein, and blanched broccoli rabe for the “twist”. Here I created a special dressing to jazz it up, and is one I promise you will be licking the spoon of once you give it a try. It is addicting – the perfect (to me) blend of orange and miso that I think you will love. However, the most unique and new-to-me vegetable I incorporate here is the broccoli rabe. Surprisingly enough it isn’t broccoli at all, but closer in relation to cabbage! Which makes it perfect for asian dishes such as this salad here. Chopped and blanched, it adds a little crunch with a slight bitterness that is mellowed out with the sweet orange dressing. It is also full of wonderful health benefits which you can read more about here. I’m flipping over all of the flavors and textures in this salad, and hope it makes the cut for your summer tables too.
This post was sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. All words and opinions are my own, and I truly love their produce. Thank you for supporting Faring Well by supporting it’s wonderful sponsors!
CHINESE TOFU CHOP SALAD W/ SESAME ORANGE MISO DRESSING
Makes 4 servings.
1 bunch of Andy Boy broccoli rabe
4 cups chopped romaine
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, sliced
1/2 cup sliced scallions
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 – 14 ounce package of firm tofu
2 tablespoons mellow white miso
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons tahini
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Drain and rinse the block of tofu, patting dry with a few paper towels. Slice into 32 cubes, about 1 inch in size, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Flipping once halfway through. Transfer to the counter to cool while you prepare the salad, or let fully cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use (will last 2 days).
Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed, and transfer to a jar. Set aside while you assemble the salad.
Trim the broccoli rabe so you are left with only the florets, leaves, and their soft stems (about 4 loosely packed cups worth). Break into bite size pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Bring a kettle of water to a boil on the stove and pour over the broccoli rabe. Let the rabe sit in the hot water for about 10 seconds, then drain. Pour cold water over the rabe and drain again. Lay out the broccoli rabe pieces on a few layers of paper towels to drain while you assemble the rest of the veggies.
Add the chopped romaine (pieces should be about 1 inch in size) to a large mixing/serving bowl. On a large cutting board shred the carrot on a box grater, or using a mandolin. Shred the cabbage using a mandolin, or thinly slicing with a knife into 1 inch pieces. Slice the sugar snap or snow peas (whichever you choose) on an angle into strips, and slice the scallions the same. Add all of the prepared veggies, including the broccoli rabe, to the bowl with the romaine.
Give the veggies a toss and add the baked tofu, toss again, and drizzle with the dressing. Mix well to coat everything with the dressing, taste, and add more salt if needed. Divide into four bowls and top each with a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Enjoy right away.