If You Can’t Stand the Heat….

It has been too hot to move here in DC, and the thought of turning on the stove makes me sweat even more. In honor of this heat wave, and possibly for my own survival, I am focusing my attention on dishes that require no cooking.

As usual, this dish was born out of what I happened to have in the fridge. The same concept could be used for a variety of vegetables – try thin sliced chard or cabbage, julienned red peppers, cucumber, or shredded sweet potato (yes, raw!). If you don’t like tofu, try sprinkling with some toasted peanuts or cashews.

No-Cook Zucchini Tofu Salad

– 2 medium zucchini, julienned
– 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
– 2 green onions, sliced thin
– 1 block firm tofu, diced
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
– 1 teaspoon minced chili (jalapeno, serrano, whatever you have) or chili-garlic paste
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/2 teaspoon asian sesame oil
– furikake (Japanese seaweed-sesame condiment – my favorite has dried kimchee in it!) or sesame seeds for garnish

First, make the dressing by combining the garlic, ginger, chili, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Adjust the seasoning to your liking – it should be a bit too salty on it’s own, but the juices from the veggies will dilute it a lot.

In a big bowl, toss the zucchini, carrots and green onions together. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Top salad with diced tofu and sprinkle with furikake or sesame seeds. Serve with additional dressing as desired.

ps. This is my first installment of “The Empty Basket” theme on my blog – an account of my journey through the ample CSA farmshare that we get each week. I’ll assess the basket of goodies and then catalogue my efforts to use each item in new and interesting ways – hopefully helping other folks figure out what to do with their overflow of kale or zucchini!

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