There is nothing better than a Starbucks 2 for 1 salted caramel mocha special on a chilly fall Chicago day on your way to apple picking. Well, other than discovering that a traditional pescetarian dish can be made vegan! Having grown up in California, I am a lover of all things salad and usually enjoy a good garbage salad that empties out on the fridge on a Sunday night. I especially love the deconstructed components of a lovely tuna nicoise. From the briny capers to the sweet cherry tomatoes and crispy steamed green bean combo, to the lemony mustard dressing atop a creamy hard boiled egg and red potatoes — I had a craving this week and it had to happen.
1 pint sweet cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
4 red potatoes
5 cups mixed greens
1/4 pitted olives
8 ounces of extra-firm organic tofu, drained
Crispy Tofu Marinade:
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, tarragon, thyme, apple cider, lemon juice and vinegar. Slice the tofu into ½ inch slices and add to bowl. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes or more. Place under broiler on middle shelf in oven for 7-8 minutes each side, just watch that it doesn’t burn!
Put the potatoes in a medium-size pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes of until fork-tender but still firm. Remove from heat, drain and cool. Peel and slice then season with salt and pepper. In separate pot, bring water to a boil the green beans for 4-5 minutes then remove from hot water. Individually plate salads, starting with layer of lettuce, then add small piles of green beans, tomatoes, olives, potatoes and tofu. Drizzle each salad with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil and enjoy! We also added hard boiled eggs if you are so inclined.