This recipe was adopted from an awesome cookbook, Everyday Greens by Annie Somerville. My dad bought this for us around the time we moved into the house. It is a wonderful collection of vegetarian recipes that Greens Restaurant in San Francisco serves. Often when I go home to NY, my dad has made another fabulous salad and they generally come from this book. Now when he comes visits us, I’ll have fabulous dishes waiting for him!
Tonight was our first foray into cooking tofu. I leapt in headfirst, spearheading the tofu movement in the house, JEM followed more reluctantly. I think it was definitely a success for me. JEM wasn’t totally opposed to it, but would prefer chicken. If you are definitely not a tofu fan, it can easily be switched out with bite sized pieces of chicken breast.
This is also an easy make ahead type meal. The sauce can be made ahead of time (omit the ginger till right before serving) and the pasta can be made a day ahead of time (toss a bit of oil or some reserve cooking water in to keep the noodles from sticking together). The rest comes together fairly quickly.
- Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
- Spicy Peanuts (recipe follows), coarsely chopped, about 3/4 cup
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 pound firm tofu, cut in 1/2 in. thick slices (1 med-large chicken breast)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced on the diagonal and cut into match sticks, about 1 cup (or use chopped baby carrots as we did)
- 1 pound dried linguine (or, as we used rice noodles. It would have also been awesome with rice)
- Radish, peeled, thinly sliced on the diagonal and cut into match sticks, about 1 cup (ended up not using b/c JEM isn’t a radish fan…and ours wasn’t so hot anymore)
- 3 or 4 scallions, both white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal, about 1/2 cup (ended up using white onion…scallion would have been better)
- 2 small broccoli crowns, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cups of snap peas, chopped into small-ish pieces.
- 1/2 oz fresh ginger, thinly sliced and cut into thin match sticks about 1/4 cup
- 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Hot pepper flakes
- Make the Peanut-Ginger Sauce and the Spicy Peanuts
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt lightly.
- Cook the pasta, rice, or noodles until tender.
- Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, and shake off extra moisture.
- Pour a thin layer of oil (about 1/4 in deep) into a saute pan and heat until just below the point of smoking, when the first wisp of vapor appears.
- Fry the tofu until gold and crisp, ~3-4 minutes each side. (Pre-heat oven to 350* F, lightly oil the chicken, salt and pepper both sides, bake for 20 mins–keep an eye on it, it changes every time we do it.)
- Place the tofu on paper towels to drain and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- When cool enough to handle, cut into thin strips.
- Toss in a small bowl with 1/4 cup of the Peanut-Ginger Sauce and set aside.
- Steam the veggies until tender.
- Place pasta in a large bowl with the tofu, veggies, ginger, cilantro, and half of the spicy peanuts.
- Add the Peanut-Ginger Sauce, the lime juice, 1/2 tsp of salt, and a pinch of pepper flakes.
- Gently toss to coat the noodles.
- Add pepper flakes to taste.
- Sprinkle the remaining peanuts over the salad and garnish with sprigs of cilantro to be fancy.
Peanut-Ginger Sauce—this will keep for a long time in the fridge (according to the authors). If you make it ahead of time, omit the ginger at the time and add it right before serving.
- 1/2 c. smooth, NATURAL peanut butter
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 c. peanut oil
- 1/3 c. rice vinegar (can use Apple Cider Vinegar with a bit of sugar as a substitute)
- 1/4 c. of tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 c. of water
- 1 tbls grated fresh ginger (I accidentally omitted this and it was still pretty awesome)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch of cayenne
- Puree everything in a blender until smooth
Spicy Peanuts–we actually omitted these because we don’t have raw peanuts on hand. They do however sound fantastic. Definitely sound great to have on hand and the authors say they keep well in an airtight container–so bake away!
- 1 c. raw peanuts
- 1/2 tsp peanut oil
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the over to 325* F
- Toss everything together in a small bowl
- Roast on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, until the mixture smells nutty.
- Set aside to cool.