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Tomato & Tofu: A Twist On Caprese Recipe

Theo says: "This salad takes the principle of the Italian caprese salad, a combination of tart tomatoes and creamy mozzarella, but subbing silken tofu for the cheese and adapting Asian flavours. You can have a lot of fun playing with this concept, which is inspired by one of my favourite cookbooks, Momofuku, and there are endless possibilities: think fresh coriander and cashew pesto or crispy tofu instead of croutons for variations on the classic. I've kept this recipe simple, but the key takeaway here is that tomatoes aren't just for Italian classics and can be explored in various ways if you are willing to break some rules. This is perfect for a summery lunch or dinner served alongside a bowl of jasmine rice and some greens."

Serves

2 as a side

Ingredients

  • 250g (9oz) ripe sweet tomatoes – the most delicious you can get
  • Small handful of basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions
  • 250g (9oz) block of firm silken tofu

For the soy and maple dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

Method

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes into large chunks, then add to the dressing with the basil leaves and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the tomatoes to release their juices and make for the best flavoured dressing.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat for about 2 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Very finely slice the spring onions, then place in a bowl of iced water so that they curl up a little and soften in flavour.

Cut the tofu into 2-cm (.-inch) cubes.

To assemble, spoon the saucy tomatoes on to a serving platter, then top with the delicate tofu with a sprinkling of flaky salt, followed by the toasted sesame seeds and drained curly spring onions.

Extracted from Sprout and Co Saladology: Fresh ideas for delicious salads by Theo Kirwan. Published by Mitchell Beazley. Photography: Matt Russell.

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