Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Arugula Salad With Smoked Tofu and Apples

I am constantly trying new recipes. Then — when I find something I like — I make it over and over until I'm totally sick of it. Lately it's been pizza, frittatas, and turkey cutlets. The other day (over yet another frittata) I asked myself: What did I used to eat?

This salad came to mind. In fact, this is one meal that I have been making for years. I love the combination of the smoky tofu with the tart apples and bitter greens. If you don't like tofu, replace it with either bacon or smoked turkey.

Makes 2 dinner-size salads

For Croutons
3 slices whole-grain bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

For salad
8 ounces smoked tofu
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 bunch arugula
1/4 head butter lettuce
2 carrots
1 red onion or two shallots
1/2 cucumber
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith

For mustard vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

To prepare croutons, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and toast until crispy, about 5 minutes.

To prepare the salad, cut tofu into bit-sized squares and sauté in olive oil. When golden brown, remove tofu an place on a paper towel. Wash and dry salad greens and set aside. Grate carrots in a large bowl. Thinly slice onion or shallots from root to tip, slice cucumber, and grate Cheddar cheese. Slice apple into bite-size pieces. Place everything in the bowl except the croutons.

Prepare vinaigrette by placing mustard in a small bowl. Add vinegar, then slowly whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper.

Just before serving, pour dressing over salad, add croutons, and toss.

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