Red, white, and blue. This salad is a patriot, as well as crisp and refreshing. A seasonal summertime salad that uses these fruits are at their juiciest and more fragrant. Seared tofu, the odd ball in this lot, brings to the dish its subtle flavor but more important, its silky texture. The rich, velvety texture of tofu seems to get overlooked by those that admonish its lack of taste.
The blue cheese and the syrupy sweet yet tangy reduced balsamic glaze tie this fruit salad together. They also drive such depth and umami. So whilst this may seem like a simple fruit-related salad from a distance, it is fully loaded in flavor that is satisfying, yet light. This is a great grill-out companion or a lovely lunch alternative.
Strawberry, blueberry, tofu, and blue cheese salad with reduced balsamic vinegar glaze
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 2 cups strawberries, halved
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/3 lb blue cheese (preferably Roquefort)
- 1 lb tofu
- 1 teaspoon mint, minced
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 bay leaves
- Olive oil
Prepare the reduced balsamic vinegar glaze and pour the balsamic into an old saucepan. Place it over medium heat and stir in the honey and bay leaves. Bring the mixture up to a gentle boil and have it reduce for 30 minutes. Approximately half of the balsamic mixture will reduce. From there, watch the balsamic glaze carefully and check it every couple minutes until it is at a gorgeous, syrupy consistency
As the balsamic vinegar reduces, prepare the tofu for searing by first draining it from its packaging. Wrap the tofu in paper towels and place it in a colander. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Replace the wet paper towels with new ones, and repeat for another 10 minutes. Let’s get it least watery as possible.
Over high heat, saute the drained tofu in olive oil. Sear the tofu for 3-4 minutes and flip it over. A gentle and brown crust is perfect. Cook the other side and move the tofu to a cutting board. Cube the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, tofu cubes, mint, and blue cheese. Drizzle in some olive oil and the balsamic glaze. Toss the salad. Taste and re-season with salt/pepper, olive oil, and balsamic glaze as appropriate. Now you’re all set. Eat and Enjoy.