Now the weather is getting warmer and there has been glorious hours of day light into the evening, my mind has been turning to making more salad dishes.
One of the Vegetarian Recipe Club’s most popular salads – in fact dishes of all time – is an Avocado and Smoked Tofu Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. It is the most amazing combination of flavours and something I make quite regularly just for the pure pleasure of it.
The intention with a rather over-ripe looking avocado and a block of smoked tofu (I use Taifun brand), was to turn it into said salad. But we fancied something a bit more substantial for lunch. So, after spotting a small pot of homemade pesto left over in the fridge, I decided to combine the base ingredients with pasta to make a bigger salad. It was really tasty and a great, quick lunch. If you can make your own pesto, I would recommend it (it does taste so much nicer than from a jar). See my previous blog about making Wild Garlic Pesto.
Pesto pasta salad with avocado and smoked tofu
Preparation/cooking time 20 mins
150g/5 oz pasta (penne or rigatoni for example)
1 avocado, chopped
1 packed smoked tofu, cubed
4 tbsp vegan pesto (vegan brands include Zest and Suma)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 salad tomatoes, sliced
Salt and pepper
1. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions (usually about 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare your other ingredients; chop the avocado, tofu and tomatoes.
3. When the pasta has cooled, transfer into a large salad bowl and mix in everything else. I laid the tomato slices around the side of the bowl separately.
4. Enjoy with some green salad leaves, such as watercress, spinach and rocket.
NB: Smoked tofu, vegan pesto and nutritional yeast flakes are available from good independent health stores, or online at Goodness Direct, for example. Some supermarkets now sell vegan pesto in their ‘free from’ ranges too.