One of the Best Vegan Recipes: Avocado and Smoked Tofu Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Avocado & Smoked Tofu Salad, from Viva! and the Vegetarian Recipe Club

Avocado & Smoked Tofu Salad, from Viva! and the Vegetarian Recipe Club. Picture credit Viva!/Vegetarian Recipe Club

This beautiful vegan recipe for Avocado & Smoked Tofu Salad is what we have just eaten for the first part of our evening meal – and I just have to share it with you.

It is one of my all-time favourite recipes; slices of avocado are combined with smoked sesame tofu, drizzled with a delicious mustard vinaigrette dressing.

It is one of Viva! and The Vegetarian Recipe Club‘s most popular recipes. My friend Jane and I have taught hundreds of people how to make it, during our many cookery demonstrations at Viva!’s Incredible Veggie Roadshows.

You can buy the smoked tofu at health food shops and in some Waitrose stores. The dish takes just minutes to prepare, but makes for a very impressive dish to serve to dinner guests, or just as a special treat.

Avocado & Smoked Tofu Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Preparation/cooking time 5-10 minutes

2 large, ripe avocados
1 packet smoked tofu available from large supermarkets or health food stores. Taifun is the firmest in texture. Cauldron, Taifun and Dragonfly are all good but softer so if you want it crispy, fry for a minute or two first
2 dsp sesame seeds
Salt and black pepper

Mustard vinaigrette
175ml/6fl oz extra virgin olive oil
75ml/3fl oz white wine vinegar
2 dsp (40ml) French or Dijon mustard
A little salt
Lots of freshly ground black pepper

1. In a pan, dry roast the sesame seeds over a high heat until starting to pop and brown. Keep stirring with a wooden spatula so they don’t burn.
2. Allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: mix the oil, white wine vinegar, mustard, salt and black pepper in a jar – use a fork to dissolve mustard then put lid on jar and give it a good shake.
4. Divide the avocados into halves, length-ways. Remove the stone and skin.
5. Place each half on an individual serving plate and cut into 6 slices.
6. Cut the smoked tofu into thin slices and insert in between avocado cuts.
7. Season with a little salt.
8. Pour the vinaigrette round then sprinkle seeds artistically over top of everything.
9. Sprinkle black pepper over the salad and serve.
10. The vinaigrette recipe makes quite a lot, but will keep for ages in a screw-top jar in the fridge. Alternatively, half or even quarter the quantities!

Recipe & picture by Viva! & The Vegetarian Recipe Club
www.viva.org.uk

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Pesto pasta salad with avocado and smoked tofu

Pesto pasta salad with avocado and smoked tofu

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
Serves 2
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.