Last week on the Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour, I re-created Ann Gentry’s Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips RAW with great success. This week, I am attempting to re-create her Niçoise salad – mostly RAW. This is DELICIOUS!!!
Ann Gentry’s My Niçoise
8 ounces slender green beans (such as haricots verts), trimmed
4 medium red-skinned potatoes (about 1 pound total), cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated and larger leaves torn in half
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges, or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 log Peppercorn-Crusted Tofu Chèvre (recipe follows), sliced into rounds
olives or kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1½ tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and submerge the green beans in a bowl of ice water just until they are cold. Drain the green beans again and pat dry. Set aside.
Place the potatoes in a steamer basket set in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water. Cover and steam until they are just tender and still hold their shape, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Vinaigrette: While the vegetables are cooling, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well.
Salad: Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter or in a large shallow salad bowl. Place the green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the beans, potatoes, and tomatoes atop the lettuce. Arrange the tofu cheese slices amid the vegetables. Sprinkle the olives, capers, and parsley over the salad. Spoon more vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately.
Makes 1 (13-ounce) log
1 (12-ounce) container waterpacked extra-firm tofu, drained and halved
1 large clove garlic
2 tablespoons yellow miso
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Pat the tofu dry with paper towels. Set the tofu in a colander and set the colander over a bowl to collect all the liquid that drains from the tofu. Cover the tofu with plastic wrap, then place 3 heavy cans, each at least 14 ounces, on the tofu to weigh it down. This weight will help extract all the excess liquid from the tofu. Refrigerate the tofu for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Pat the tofu halves with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, then add the tofu to the food processor. Add the miso, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and the salt, and blend until the mixture is very smooth, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap flat on the work surface. Scrape the tofu cheese onto the center of the plastic wrap, then wrap the cheese, forming a log. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unwrap the cheese log and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the log lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Bake just until the cheese is warmed through, but the center is still creamy, about 25 minutes.
Serve warm or cold.
Peppercorn-Crusted Variation: Coarsely grind whole black or multicolored peppercorns, then sprinkle them over the cheese, patting them gently to adhere.
Sunflower Niçoise – a Mostly Raw Niçoise
I follow everything on the recipe, except for:
1. I steam the potatoes and the green beans in the same pot. The potatoes are first steamed for 4 minutes, then I simply add the green beans to the steamer for an additional 4 minutes. If you want your salad completely raw, simply omit the potatoes and add raw jicama and raw green beans. (Note, I never did well with raw green beans…)
2. I make a Raw Sunflower Chèvre instead. I simply substitute the tofu with soaked sunflower seeds. Soak 1 cup of sunflower seeds overnight. Rinse and drain. Mix in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients: garlic, miso (I used unpasteurized white miso), oil and sea salt. Use a small ice cream scoop to place tablespoons of the soft cheese onto a texflex sheet, flatten if you wish. Place in a dehydrator for 1 hour on 150F, then decrease to 105F for the next hour. The cheese will be a little crusty on the top, but still soft inside and at the base – perfect for this salad.