We made this meal on one of the few nights this Spring that it was too hot to use the oven (...remember those one or two nights, a distant, drizzly week ago?). I decided it was time to commence salad season, planned future sushi dinners on our new balcony, and looked up outdoor cinema programs. This meal felt like an auspicious start.
We used a maple miso tofu recipe that I'd seen on Oh My Veggies; there it's credited to The Hot Plate. Slathered in a sweet and salty sauce and finished with sesame, it has the look of baked tofu but gets sufficient searing from just the grill.
The tofu was really just support for a whopping salad. This one was a typical Ottolenghi number, with lots of ingredients and a bit of commitment required. The most effort goes into double-podding broad beans with a blanch in between, and more blanching for beetroots. They make a filling foundation for avocado, herbs, sprouts and a hot-and-sour dressing.
We've noticed that avocados are just brilliant around here at the moment, and if you can pick the right one I reckon you'd get away with omitting the (lovely, but so briefly available) broad beans altogether.
While the weather's not exactly playing along, this dinner stoked my enthusiasm for salads. We've been eating avocados every other day, and I'm trying to think a bit beyond my typical handful-of-spinach-and-half-a-carrot side.
Maple miso tofu
(slightly adapted from The Hot Plate,
found via Oh My Veggies)
375g block firm tofu
1/4 cup white miso
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
generous squirt sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat the grill section of an oven and line a baking tray with paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, maple syrup, tamari, rice wine vinegar and sriracha. (I went for all of them at one, which turned out a bit lumpy, so I might just start with miso and maple syrup and work up from there next time.)
Slice the tofu into 1cm-thick slabs and arrange them on the baking tray. Spoon over a thick layer of the marinade and grill the tofu until the sauce is thick and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Turn the tofu over and repeat, then a third time. Transfer the tofu to a serving plate, drizzle over the sesame oil and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
Beetroot & avocado salad
(slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi)
900g broad beans in pods
4 medium beetroots
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon castor sugar
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
20g snow pea sprouts, roughly chopped
Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Remove the broad beans from their pods. Blanche the broad beans in the boiling pot of water for 4 minutes, then drain them and refresh with cold water. When they're cool enough to handle, remove their skins. Set the broad beans aside in a bowl.
Set the pot of water back onto the stove to boil. Peel the beetroots and slice them into 2mm-thick rounds. Add them to the boiling water and simmer them for 3-5 minutes, until cooked but still crunchy. Drain the beetroot slices and place them in a large bowl.
Add the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper to the beetroot and toss everything together. Allow them to sit and soak for 10-15 minutes (this is when I made the tofu).
When the beetroot is ready, arrange the salad on a platter. Begin with half the beetroot, then layer up half the avocado, half the coriander and mint plus half the sprouts. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.