Illustration: ©The Magazine of Yoga
Warm Orzo and Baked Tofu Salad
Fresh dill, sweet corn and a squeeze of lemon invoke summer in this versatile winter dish
BY MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTOR MEG CLAIRE
For those of us on the East Coast, this winter has been a killer. Weekly snow storms, icy commutes, and no end in sight. Now that we’re halfway through February, I’m starting to get antsy for summer weather. And after weeks of root vegetables and pantry staples, I’m positively desperate for summer produce.
One of the best ways to remember summer is a pasta salad. This one forgoes the typical Italian influences, in favor of sweet corn, refreshing cukes, and feathery dill. The original recipe, by one of my cooking heroines Ina Garten, contained shrimp which I’ve replaced by similarly textured baked tofu. I’ve also improvised by adding corn kernels, which bring color, crunch, sweetness and a serious reminder of summer food. This has become my go-to potluck dish because it always turns out well, can be multiplied to the heavens, and is equally loved by vegans, omnis, and everyone in between.
I gotta give Ronzoni credit. Their humble dried orzo is the best that’s widely available. Instead of long and rice-shaped, Ronzoni’s orzo are fat, more pasta-like, and satisfyingly chewy. Give this unique pasta salad a try, and keep enjoying “summer’s bounty”—at least until the real thing comes along.
Warm Dill Orzo Salad with Baked Tofu
1/2 pound firm tofu, drained
1/2 pound Orzo
Kosher or sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 English (or Hothouse) cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium diced
1/4 cup small diced red onion
3/4 cup of canned corn (no- or low-salt is best), drained and rinsed
A few ounces of crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Make the baked tofu Preheat the oven to 350F. Blot the excess water off the tofu and slice once horizontally, making 2 slabs. Set them in a baking dish and lightly sprinkle with salt. Brush liberally with soy sauce. Bake for 1 hour, undisturbed. Remove and set aside.
Prepare the orzo Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a drop or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the orzo and simmer for 9-11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked al dente. Drain and pour orzo into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Pour over the hot orzo and stir well.
Put all together Cube the baked tofu. Add to the orzo, and then add the dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, and corn. Toss well. Taste for salt and pepper. If you’re using the feta, crumble it over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Meg Claire is a vegetarian cook and yogini. She writes about the dark side of life and the light side of yoga at Yoga Saves the Day.
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.