Today, a little love note to smoked tofu. (And tarragon, but that comes in a minute.) Warm weather begs for cool, protein-packed salads that can be kept on hand for quick sandwiches that provide easy nourishment at any time of the day. For that, it's hard to beat the ease of grabbing a pre-seasoned pack of tofu.
This salad really takes advantage of three store-bought convenience items: the smoked tofu, of course, and also a big dollop of plain nondairy yogurt seasoned with dijon mustard. You'll set those off with heaps of fresh and fragrant stuff: parsley, tarragon, cucumber, lemon zest, and, finally, lightly toasted poppy seeds.
Grate, chop, toast, stir, and you have lunch for days. Grab a half-loaf of pita, a bagel, or a couple slices of your favorite wheat bread. Whatever you have on hand will work and makes for a surprisingly sophisticated, dead-simple meal.
Lemon-Poppy & Herb Smoked Tofu-Salad Sandwich
serves 4, adapted from Tartine Bread
1 tsp poppy seeds
zest of 1 lemon
3 TBSP plain nondairy yogurt(*)
1 TBSP dijon mustard
12 oz smoked tofu (such as Soy Boy brand), grated
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, tough stems removed (about 1 cup loosely packed), chopped
4 large sprigs tarragon, stems discarded (about 1/4 cup loosely packed leaves), chopped
sandwich loaf slices, halved bagel, or pita, plus tender lettuce leaves, to serve
Add poppy seeds to a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn.
Combine poppy seeds, lemon zest, yogurt, and mustard in a small bowl. Put grated tofu, cucumber, parsley, and tarragon into a large mixing bowl. Add dressing and toss thoroughly. (Salt, if needed—this will depend on your brand of tofu.) Can be served immediately, but benefits from an hour in the fridge to allow the flavors to mingle.
When ready to serve, spoon salad onto bread, then sandwich. Press down with one hand and cut in half (compressing helps the sandwich hold together—not necessary if using pita).
(*Whole Soy Co. or So Delicious brands of plain yogurt are recommended. Because of the bitterness of the poppy and pungent nature of tarragon, the unsweetened variety is not recommended for this dish.)