The inspiration for this salad was, of course, the ground cherries. Encased in the most delicate of wrappers, you’ll find the ultimate treat, a sweet and ever slight tart yellow cherry reminiscent of the consistency of a cherry tomato, only with a mellow melon-like flavour.
I was at my friend Christine’s, who was telling me about this awesome salad that she makes consisting of mixed greens and veggies topped with sautéed ground turkey. “What a wonderful idea!”, I thought, so set out to create one my way.
Chorizo tofu has been on my list of things to make for quite a long time, so this was my opportunity. Don’t limit the use of the chorizo tofu to the salad. It works beautifully in a burrito or fajita too.
The spicy caramelized tofu, crisp sweet lettuce, and creamy melon-like vinaigrette are a power house of flavours that excited my tongue as they played in my mouth. Wow! What a treat! My husband and I couldn’t get enough. To boot, it was a fast quick weeknight meal and clean lean cooking at its best. Happy ground cherries!!
Thanks for the inspiration Christine!! This one’s for you.
Serves 3 (with vinaigrette for another day)
|Tofu, crumbled||300 grams|
|Olive oil||5 tbsp|
|Garlic, cloves, crushed||4|
|Hungarian paprika||1 tsp|
|Smoked paprika||½ tsp|
|Aleppo powder (or other spicy pepper powder)||½ tsp|
|Coriander, ground||1 tsp|
|Cumin, ground||¼ tsp|
|Lime juice||2 squeezes|
|Ground Cherries||1/3 cup (heaping)|
|Olive oil||1/4 cup|
|Lime juice||2 tbsp|
|Garlic, clove, crushed||1|
|Dijon mustard||1 tsp|
|Lettuce, Romaine, head||1 (approximately 3-4 leaves per person)|
|Cabbage, green, shredded||1.5 cups|
|Onion, red, thinly sliced||1/4 cup|
|Ground Cherries||1 pint (8-10 per person + what’s needed for vinaigrette)|
|Chorizo tofu, pre-cooked||300 g|
|Basil, fresh||12-15 leaves|
1. Drain tofu and using your hands crumble tofu into ground-like consistency. Place crumbled tofu in a small sauté pan on medium heat. At this point, if the tofu chunks are still too big, I apply a potato masher to make the adjustments. Cook tofu for 1-2 minutes on its own. This helps evaporate excess liquid. Add remaining ingredients: olive oil, garlic, spices, seasoning, lime rind and juice and continue to cook until tofu crumble is golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Using a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and process until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. The texture from the ground cherries plus the air whipped in from the hand blender and the mustard which acts as an emulsifier render a beautiful creamy but not dense consistency.
3. To make the salad, in a large bowl, preferably a display bowl, begin by layering the romaine lettuce, then the shredded cabbage, the onion strips, the basil leaves, the chorizo tofu, and ground cherries.
4. Serve on it’s own or with a chunk of rustic bread and/or side soup.