This Summer Pasta Salad with Tofu is fresh and light summer meal for when it is just too hot to cook.
I’m pretending the sun is shinning and the pool is open. That it is not really raining, like it has been for days, and that I am sitting on the backyard deck with my sunglasses and flip-flops on with a cool glass of wine in my hand.
And if i squint hard enough, it’s almost true.
Maybe next weekend it will be more true.
Helping me conjure up some summer vibes, I’ve tossed together this easy Summer Pasta Salad with Tofu
This is laid back, no-fuss, hot weather food. This is for when it is too hot to cook food. (Or when you wish it was too hot to cook food).
Tofu makes this simple salad a hearty summer meal… least for the vegheads in your life (hello ????).
When it’s hot outside I don’t want complicated flavours, I crave things fresh and bright. And this meal is exactly this. It’s simply addictive – taking full advantage of peak season summer veggies.
It can take a few minutes to fry the tofu crispy. Do this ahead of time and just assemble the salad later when you have the rest of the ingredients ready. Toss in a simple dressing and dinner is done. Actually it’s best if you allow the pasta and tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving to absorb some of the flavours of the dressing. This packs well too – picnics, potlucks, and for lunches.
Here is how you make it:
for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- juice from half a lemon plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teeaspoon salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
for the salad
- 1 package firm or extra firm tofu cut into cubes and pressed dry
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 2 cups dry bow-tie pasta
- 1 pound thin green beans cut in half
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs - basil dill or parsley
- Start with the tofu, remove from package and pat dry, wrap in a kitchen towel or paper towels and press between 2 heavy plates, press for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare dressing:
- In jar with a lid, or directly in the serving bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Remove tofu from paper towels and cut into inch cubes. Blot dry. In a non-stick skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil and add tofu cubes. You may need to do this in batches, don't over crowd the pan so that tofu frys crispy. Allow to fry until golden brown. Brown all sides. It will take 3-5 minutes per side. Place tofu on a paper towel to cool. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package direction in a large pot of salted water. When pasta is about half way done add green beans. Cook until pasta is soft and beans are just tender crisp. Drain and rinse under cool water to reduce temperature.
- In a large bowl toss tofu, pasta, beans and tomatoes with dressing. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Salad is best served after marinating in dressing for about 30 minutes.