The "myth" of salads: enjoyable for some and punishment to others ...
Certainly almost all of us have witnessed some situations, especially with children (and even adults) that make an ugly face when they see a plate of salad in front of them.
To avoid these episodes we have to change the routine of our taste, appreciating certain flavors, usually requires a food re-education and especially the desire to "free" ourselves from the typical routine of portuguese lettuce and tomato salads.
Traditionally, salads are light and healthy dishes that can be served either on hot or cold days, whether winter or summer. We just need to be receptive to enjoy them, whether in main dishes, side dishes or even when exquisitely designed to celebrate special moments.
The secret is to choose fresh ingredients and combining them with imagination.
If you are preparing a salad as a main dish, as I suggest here, you should add a protein according to your taste - in this case I used tofu.
The vegetables should be thoroughly washed and then dried with a clean cloth. When using lettuce, wash it well and then just let it dry in a colander.
When possible, buy organic vegetables in the markets - Lisbon has already an offer that starts to be reasonable. Generally the vegetables are fresher and cheaper.
My suggestion today is a tofu salad with mustard sauce. A good sauce makes the difference and opens the appetite of the eyes and of the mouth.
I tried to get some warm textures and some spicy flavors, so I made a selection of mizuna, arugula and radishes.
Mizuna is a vegetable from Japan, also known as Japanese mustard. It has a slightly bitter flavor it is very fresh and crunchy. I used young leaves that I bought at the Príncipe Real bio market.
I love arugula so I use it frequently. I appreciate its texture and the flavor which is slightly bitter and spicy. It is rich in protein, calcium, iron and omega 3, (believe me, proteins are found in many foods besides animal).
If you are not a fan of these flavors, you can always use other vegetables and keep the base.
Tofu can also be raw, just marinated in a little soy sauce, grated garlic and a few drops of lemon. If you choose this solution, use silk tofu.
150 gr tofu cut into thick sticks and left to stand for 1 hour in a vegetable stock with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 grated clove garlic clove, 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste
4 small asparagus
2 black olives cut into slivers
sesame seeds to taste
For the sauce:
4 or 5 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 tbsp of soy sauce
Grease a pan with a little olive oil or sesame oil and toast the tofu over medium heat on one side and the other until golden. Reserve.
Wash the vegetables and dry them using a clean cloth.
Wash the radishes and cut them finely.
Wash the asparagus, remove the woody parts that are not digestible. Reserve the tip and cut the body of the asparagus into thin strips.
Prepare the sauce by adding all ingredients and check if it needs salt.
Place the vegetables on platte and put the tofu on the top. Season it with mustard sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
© veggie delicious food, February 2013