Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Salt-Soaked Tofu

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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There are nights when you want to cook dinner, and there are nights when you want to order takeout, and there are nights when you want to make dinner, but you’d rather order takeout, but you’d rather not reeeally order takeout. This recipe is for those nights. It mostly involves assembly, not much cooking, but it’s homemade and healthy and satisfying.

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I offer two little tricks here for turning what is really just a salad into something resembling a homecooked meal. The first is homemade Caesar salad dressing. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not necessarily into DIY (do-it-yourself) for DIY’s sake, but homemade salad dressing really is better than anything you can buy and pretty easy, too. This is a not-creamy version of Caesar salad dressing and it’s really good, delicious, and easy. The second trick is soaking tofu in salted water for fifteen minutes before sauteing. I don’t know why it works, but this little trick is the best way I’ve found to produce springy tofu with a crispy brown crust.

Can you really ask anything more from me? Well, a recipe’d be nice…

The Magic Bullet does a great job of making this meal come together easily and with minimal cleanup.

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Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Salt-Soaked Tofu

Ingredients

  • 2 hearts of romaine, sliced, tough ends discarded
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or use a mixture of olive and vegetable oil)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tin anchovies
  • 1 small hunk of parmesan, cut into cubes, with more for serving
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 package extra firm tofu, in the refrigerator package (i.e. not “silken”)
  • croutons, store bought

Directions

  1. Put tofu in bowl, cover with water, add abundant amount of salt, stir water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Then cut tofu into cubes and saute in vegetable oil.
  2. Add parmesan to Magic Bullet, large cup, with the cross blade. Blend until grated. Remove and set aside most of the cheese, but don’t clean the cup.
  3. Add garlic cloves to Bullet and blend until roughly chopped.
  4. Add 1/2 tin anchovies, egg yolks, olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard to Bullet. Blend until well emulsified.
  5. Mix dressing, parmesan cheese, remaining anchovies, croutons, and tofu with romaine in large bowl. Serve, passing parmesan.

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