Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fried Tofu and Watercress Salad

Fried Tofu and Watercress Salad

1 12-ounce package light, extra firm tofu, drained
3 tablespoons tamari sauce or reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard or 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cooking oil

1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons cooking oil

6 cups torn spinach
1 bunch watercress (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup slices button mushrooms
1 cup red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1. Cut tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch slices. In a 2-quart rectangular baking dish arrange slices in a single layer. Pour tamari sauce over tofu; turn slices to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, for vinaigrette, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine vinegar, ginger, sugar, mustard, and salt. Cover and blend or process until combined. With blender or processor running, add the 1/3 cup oil in a thin steady stream. Blend or process for 15 seconds more.
3. Drain tofu, discarding tamari sauce. In a shallow dish combine cornmeal and sesame seeds. Carefully dip tofu slices in cornmeal mixture to lightly coat both sides. In a large nonstick skillet cook tofu in the 2 teaspoon hot oil for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp and hot, carefully turning once. (I cook them in 2 batches.)
4. In an extra-large bowl combine spinach, watercress, mushrooms, tomatoes, and red onion. Pour the vinaigrette over spinach mixture; toss to coat. Divide among 4 dinner plates. Cut the tofu slices in half diagonally. Arrange the tofu over spinach mixture. If desired, sprinkle with additional sesame seeds.

Dan's notes: The tofu is nice and crispy; the salad is not really all that inspiring, but the dressing is good. 6 cups is a lot of spinach.

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