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Thursday
Oct082009

PISTACHIO CRUSTED TOFU SALAD

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I'm a bit under the weather. While most people usually lose their appetite when they're sick, I can always seem to find mine. I fought through the desire for cookies alone, and decided something with a more impressive nutritional profile would make a better lunch for my wellness. I am also impressed that Hugh will eat tofu without hesitation. You can't say that about too many 6'5 men. Reason #987,543,222 why I adore him.

Curdled beans. Coagulated soymilk. Tofu is not exactly the beauty queen of vegetarian protien sources, but her possibilities are endless. It's skin deep, my friends. I've eaten my fair share of tofu, but have never crusted it as follows, so this was a learning experience. If you cover a bland bean cake with all of these flavors and give it a crunchy crust, this fall-ish salad will suprise you. Farmers markets are brimming with greens, so shop well and even the lettuce will contribute to the flavor here.
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PISTACHIO CRUSTED TOFU SALAD // Serves 2 (with tofu leftovers)
If you don't use bread crumbs often, you can toss a piece of toast in a blender and wa-la. Single serving of bread crumbs.

4 Cups Baby Greens
1 Large Asian Pear
3/4 Cup Green Onions, sliced thin on a bias
1 14 oz. Package Organic Firm Tofu, drained and pressed*
1 Cup Toasted Pistachio Nuts
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
3 Egg Whites
1/2 Cup Whole Grain Bread Crumbs
2 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 Tsp. Mustard Powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper

//DRESSING//
1/2 Cup Cilantro (big handful)
1/2 Cup Parsley (big handful)
2 tbsp. Capers
1 tbsp. Agave/Honey
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or nut oil if you have some)
2 tbsp. Yogurt/Sour Cream
A pinch of Salt and Pepper

*Press out as much water possible. Set it on a plate with a paper towel and under something heavy to press out remaining moisture.
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1. For the dressing, add the first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend. Add the yogurt/sour cream and give it a pulse. While running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk up the egg whites until they are lightly frothy. Add the cornstarch and continue to whisk another minute to combine.
3. Grind the pistachios and bread crumbs and put that mixture in a medium bowl. Add the salt, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and mustard powder to the nut mixture.
4. Slice the tofu in half width wise, and then diagonally to form triangles. Working with one piece at a time: Pat the tofu dry, dip in the egg mixture, then the nut mixture, and place on a baking tray. Repeat with each slice of tofu. * At this point, if you prefer the tofu cold, you can chill them in the fridge. Or, continue with directions for warm tofu.
5. Set oven to 350’. Coat the bottom of a saucepan with oil and warm over medium heat. Fit in tofu pieces without touching, you will probably need to do two sets. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crispy, return to baking tray. Repeat with all tofu chunks and pop the tray in the oven to warm through.
6. In the meantime, Slice the asian pear into matchsticks. Toss the greens, green onion with desired amount of dressing. Plate with asian pear slices and tofu chunk on top.
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Reader Comments (27)

This looks absolutely delicious, a really great idea!

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterABowlOfMush

What a beautiful salad you made.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHélène

Lovely!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ordinary Vegetarian

Sara- I will definitely be making this (next week?). I’ve been trying to incorporate more tofu and this is a great idea. Plus I loved your tofu-strawberry salad!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

What a great way to add flavor to tofu. Delicious!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

Tofu has definitely grown on me throughout the years. And I would eat tofu every day if it looked as lovely and delicious as this salad!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

I've never been a tofu girl but this recipe is making me rethink my choices!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

The crust sounds delicious, and I love the thought of all of those toasted flavours against the sweetness and freshness of the pear salad. Feel better soon!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

sweet sassy where do you come up with these ideas?? this sounds phenomenal! so creative and looks delicious. seriously delightful. i can't wait to try.

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

everything you make looks so amazing, this is no exception!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

I recently "crusted" my first piece of tofu and it was amaaazing. Can't wait to try this version, but perhaps even more--that salad dressing sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing and your lovely pictures!

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramelia

I love that you're sick, but up making a complicated (in a good way) lunch. Sounds like someone else I know :)

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Leftoverist

Stunning recipe! I always resort to Asian cooking for tofu so I'm happy to try something different. I love everything about this!

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

this salad looks so lovely and your table looks so serene -- simple, delicious, colorful and healthy. I wanna come over for lunch!

take care!

Leela

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleela

This sounds amazing and your photos look delicious as well! The pistachio crusted part sounds so incredible!

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShari

oh, feel better! and thanks for sharing this... i love crunchy tofu!

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterconnie

love the salad and the photos are just plain beautiful!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCannelle Et Vanille

Oh Sara, I hope you're feeling better! I don't buy a lot of tofu lately, but I'm not sure why I stopped. This makes me want to start again. This looks like the perfect healthy lunch. To your health!!

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim (@ Paper Apron)

A bit under the weather and you produce this?! Wow. I crave grease when ill. It makes no sense but fries soothe.

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

This salad looks wonderful. I've been trying to find good tofu recipes. I'll definitely try this out this weekend. And the photos- fabulous as always!

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEl

You just served tofu in a whole new different way. Something fresh and something unique.

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

I made this last night [with sides of brown rice and creamy polenta] and it was a HUGE hit!!
Thank you for sharing! :)

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

What a great looking salad. The flavor combination looks terrific. I will be making this next week!

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

[...] then came the attempt at pistachio crusted tofu salad with “carrot cakey cookie witches” for dessert the other night… {recipes from [...]

Love this recipe for tofu! So easy and delicious! To make it even easier I use a cast iron skillet to saute tofu and then directly transfer skillet to the oven. No need to dirty a baking sheet this way.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlin Peters

Made this tonight for my family. We loved the flavor and texture of the tofu, but thought it was a bit too salty. If I make it again I'll cut the salt in half, I think.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClaire L

Made this for lunch today; the flavor combination on the tofu was amazing. However, my tofu texture was still a bit chewy despite pressing out extra water. Should I have left them in the oven for a longer amount of time?

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

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