Friday, August 1, 2008

Vegan caprese-inspired salad

This is an unconventional caprese salad, since it is vegan so it does not contain any cheese, it also includes non-traditional ingredients like onion. I titled it caprese-inspired salad. It is super-garlicky and delicious!

1 package firm tofu
1 bunch of basil
2 beefsteak tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 red onion
2 TBS sliced kalamata olives
1 TBS imitation bacon bits
1 TSP honey
1 TSP mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 TS Maggi seasoning (if desired for the dressing)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Use the garlic press or chop one clove of garlic very finely, mix it in 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to the mix.
Chop the tofu in half an inch cubes and put them in a container covered with the garlic-balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Chop the tomatoes in 1/2 inch squares and basil. Set aside.
Slice the red onion really thin. Set aside.
This is how I prepare the dressing:
Chop very finely or use the garlic press with 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Mix in the olive oil with approximately 1/2 tsp of salt. Add the mustard and mix until it emulsifies a bit. Then add the honey and keep mixing (I use a fork but if you prefer you can use a whisk). Add the Maggi seasoning, if you want, and finally the balsamic vinegar. Try it for taste and add more oil or vinegar according to your preferences.
Now, the trick to make delicious onion for the salad, onion that is not too strong for eating raw: Add the fine slices to the dressing and cover it all with it. Let stand about 45 minutes to an hour (you can do 15 minutes, but it is less effective). The onion will "cook" with the vinegar. It will leave a delicious flavour in the vinaigrette and it will not be too strong for eating raw.
When it's time to serve, just mix all the ingredients together. Delicious, nutritious, low calorie and vegan. And most importantly... plenty of garlic!