Saturday, July 4, 2015

Miso Tofu Salad with an Egg on Top

If you get to the Fairmount Farmers Market early this Sunday, you might be lucky enough to pick up some of Fair Valley Farm's pasture raised eggs. 

If you also pick up an bunch of greens, some basil, a cucumber, some baby potatoes, and a handful of these Japanese eggplants from Sweetwater Farm, then you'll have the fixings for a satisfying dinner salad, perfect for these hot days.

I baked sliced eggplant and tofu in a miso marinade in my toaster oven, to avoid heating the kitchen. Over a bed of chopped kale and basil leaves, I layered on the eggplant and tofu with baby potatoes, cucumber spears, and a six-minute egg, and drizzled it all with the sweet and spicy dipping sauce left over from last week's chicken recipe. A delicious farm to table dinner, without generating much heat.

Miso Tofu Salad with an Egg on Top
makes four dinner salads
Miso marinate
1 tablespoon white miso
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 Japanese eggplants, sliced on the diagonal into 1 inch slices
1 block firm tofu, sliced into 8 slabs and pre-frozen or pressed to remove liquid
1 bunch kale or lettuce
~16 basil leaves
1 large or 2 small cucumbers
16 baby potatoes
4 eggs

For the sweet and hot dipping sauce (1/2 recipe):
1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fish sauce

1. Prepare the miso marinade by whisking together all of the ingredients directly in a toaster oven pan or small baking dish. Dip both sides of the eggplant slices and tofu slabs into the marinate and let soak for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or for a day in the refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees in a toaster oven or stove for 30 to 40 minutes until the eggplants are sift and have started to char and the tofu is dry and firm. Slice the tofu into strips and reserve.

2. Prepare the dipping sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar to a boil. Add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves, then lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. In the meantime, pound or mash the garlic and salt into a paste in a mortar or on a cutting board with the side of your knife. Stir the red pepper flakes into the sauce. When the vinegar and sugar mixture is done simmering, stir in the garlic paste and fish sauce and let the sauce cool to room temperature. 

3. Prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Boil the baby potatoes until cooked, about 15 minutes, then drain and reserve. For the eggs, set a small pot of water to boil and the carefully lower in each egg with a slotted spoon. Lower the heat and cook for 6 minutes for eggs with yokes that are still a little runny, or up to 10 minutes for firm yokes. Transfer to a bowl with ice water to cool and peel gently. Peel the cucumber if desired and cut into spears. Rinse the kale leaves, remove the stems with your hands or a knife, and chop into small pieces. Rinse the basil leaves, tear into pieces and mix with the kale leaves.

4. Assemble the salads. On four plates, distribute the kale and basil leaves. Layer on eggplant slices, tofu strips, baby potatoes, cucumber spears, and an egg. Drizzle with a little of the dipping sauce and serve with more sauce on the side. Enjoy.

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