Main-course salad with plenty of flavor and fiber. Make sure to let it sit for at least an hour before serving; also excellent the day after. Recipe adapted from the one in Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin (LOVE this book!) — starred items are my additions. Make the rice a day ahead and undercook slightly.
Curried Rice Salad with Apples and “Smoky” Tofu
For the Tofu (optional)*:
- 1/2 package tofu, squeezed, drained, and cubed evenly into cubes 1/2″ to 1″
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1 Tsbp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke / hickory smoke flavor
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
For the Salad:
- 2 1/2 – 3c cold cooked long-grain brown rice (made from 1 cup rice boiled in 2 cups water; OR use 1 2-cup package pre-cooked microwave-pouch brown rice
- 1 red-skinned apple (fuji, pink lady, jazz; or gala, red delicious), cut into 1/2″ dice
- 1/3 c chopped dry roasted peanuts
- 1 c thawed frozen peas
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced (or 1 shallot or 1/4 small yellow onion), minced superfine
- 1/2 jar (about 3 oz) roasted red peppers, chopped finely*
- 1 sm. or med. Roma tomato, chopped small*
- 10 snow peas cut into thin strips the short way using kitchen scissors
- 1/2 to 1 full cup crumbled feta cheese*
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root (peeled & minced)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Generous season freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
(For stronger dressing, use instead: 4 Tbsp lemon, 2 1/2 – 3 tsp ginger root, 3 garlic cloves, 3 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/3c olive oil.
1. For tofu, if using: combine liquid ingredients for tofu in a small bowl and whisk vigorously. Add in tofu cubes, swish around, and let sit 5-30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop other ingredients and heat very-nonstick skillet over medium. Add tofu and remaining liquid ingredients for tofu and brown on each side (turn every few minutes). Set aside.
2. Combine the rice, raisins, apple, peanuts, peas, scallions and snow peas in a large bowl and toss well.
3. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour the dressing on the salad and toss to coat well. Add tofu.
4. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours; bring to room temperature before serving.