Fresh Cold Tofu –
Our Indian Summer came late this year, but it’s making up for it’s tardiness by hitting us with a wallop. Happily, both of our farmers markets are small enough that you can stock up on healthy groceries without being out in the heat too long.
The Tuesday Main Street market offers iced coffee, aqua fresca (fresh fruit drinks), ice cold cider and pomegranate juice. For a real refreshing treat, stop by Daves Gourmet Korean Food for a fresh young coconut. You can drink the coconut milk with a straw, and scoop out the tender, melt-in-your-mouth flesh with a spoon.
Too hot to cook? Take home some of Culver City’s fine selection of prepared foods from the farmers market stalls. It’s not always about ingredients, you can just pick up a meal on the east side of Main Street – tamales, chicken, barbeque- there are lots of choices.
In hot weather like this, I’ll expand my usual repertoire of main dish salads with Japanese style cold tofu, and healthy “eggless” egg salad. I like homemade eggless salad because I can augment the tofu, yogurt and seasonings with chopped and minced vegetables, boosting the vitamin and nutrient value of the dish. Tasty and virtuous! Don’t worry about making too much- it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. A great way to serve it is in scooped out heirloom tomato halves and a bed of mesclun for supper on a hot might, and then enjoy the rest for eggless salad sandwiches at the next day’s lunch.
Tofu “Eggless” Salad
12 ounces (1 package) silken extra- firm tofu, mashed
3 T. plain yogurt
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 green onion minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 t. light soy sauce
1/2 t. finely minced garlic
1/2 t. ground tumeric
1/4 t. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Mash the tofu in a medium bowl and add the yogurt. Stir to blend. Add the mustard, soy sauce, garlic, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Blend. Add carrot, bell pepper, green onion and celery, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can serve right away or refrigerate it for half an hour or so before serving.
Chilled Tofu with Dipping Sauces
Alow 6 to 8 oz. Of tofu per serving. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, and place in a bowl. Add ice cubes to bowl, about 1/2 cup of ice to each cup of tofu. To eat, remove tofu with slotted spoon or chopsticks.
Grated Daikon and Shoyu Sauce
1 cup grated daikon (large Japanese radish)
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. grated ginger
1 t. grated carrot
Vinegar Shoyu Sauce
Mix equal parts of shoyu and rice vinegar
Add a squeeze of citrus (lemon, lime, or orange)
Tangy Shoyu Sauce
1/4 c. shoyu
1/4 c. lime juice
1/3 c. grated daikon
2 green onions, sliced thin
dash of dried red chili pepper
2 T. sake
The recipes were adopted from The Book of Tofu by William Sherteff and Akiko Aoyogi, and The Complete Soy Cookbook by Paulette Mitchell.
Katie Malich is planning to round out her cold tofu extravaganza with chilled watermelon and Iced Thai Limeaid.
Once again, delicious, timely recipes. Now I have the option to stay out to my 120-degree kitchen today.
I would also like to let you know that you will likely be able to run more Indian-summer-themed recipes later this fall. I have worked off and on as a copy editor over the last 2 decades, and I can’t help looking up a term whenever I realize that I don’t really know its meanings or origin. “Webster’s New World College Dictionary” defines Indian summer as “a period of mild, warm, hazy weather following the first frosts of late autumn.” (The origin of the term is unknown.) So it seems that it’s summer itself that came late.
By the time that the first frosts come around (this year? next year?) there will surely be a whole new mix of produce at the market. I look forward to trying your chilled tofu recipes, and what you’ll share in your second installment!