Alibi V.27 No.27 • July 5-11, 2018 
Summer Dinner Salad
Home cooking at its summeriest
Robin Babb

Summer Dinner Salad

The grains and greens salad technology has been kind of a breakthrough for me, largely because it allows me to combine whatever’s in my fridge with some leftover grains and thus do minimal cooking to get to a complete dinner. It’s as close as I come to meal prep. I’ve been making this particular salad quite a lot recently, because it’s super filling and uses a lot of ingredients I typically have on hand anyway. Feel free to add any other fresh or cooked veggies that you have hanging around. You can substitute any hardy whole grain for farro if you don’t happen to have it, and in the marinade you can use honey or agave nectar instead of the maple syrup.
3-4 Servings


Salad ingredients:
3 cups cooked farro (or other whole grain)
5 cups spinach
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
6-8 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 blocks extra firm tofu

Marinade for tofu:
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. maple syrup

Creamy lime-cilantro dressing:
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1 cup cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press the tofu by putting it on a cotton towel and placing a weight (like a heavy cast iron pan) on top. Let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Make the marinade for the tofu: put all ingredients in a large bowl, stir to combine.

Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick squares and add it to the bowl, tossing to coat with the marinade—you’ll have to do this in several batches. Put the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Put the sliced carrots on a separate baking sheet and coat with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the carrots and the tofu in the oven and set a timer for 40 minutes.

Make the dressing: Combine all ingredients except the cilantro in a blender, pulse several times until combined. Add the cilantro and blend until smooth. If the dressing is a little too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water and blend until at desired consistency.

Put the farro in a large serving platter, layer the spinach on top, then the red onions and sugar snap peas. When the carrots and tofu are done cooking and have cooled for a few minutes, throw them on top. Let guests serve and dress their salad individually.