Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Orange Tomatoes, and Green Beans



This pasta salad features cherry tomatoes, green beans, corn, and marinated tofu in a balsamic vinaigrette. These orange tomatoes are from Local Harvest Grocery, and their sweet flavor pairs perfectly with the agave nectar in the vinaigrette. The recipe is based loosely on this one from Cooking Light, with my modifications indicated below.


Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Orange Tomatoes, and Green Beans
About 8 servings

1 container extra-firm tofu, sliced into 3 planks
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
fresh basil to garnish


Dressing:
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Press the three slices of tofu for about 30 minutes. Here's what I mean by pressing the tofu.
Put all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake to combine.
After the tofu is pressed, cut into bite-sized cubes and marinate in half the dressing for about 15 minutes.
Saute the tofu cubes in a teaspoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes in a skillet on moderately high heat. Turn frequently. Pat with a clean towel to remove any excess oil. Set cubes aside.
Cook the pasta for about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and corn to the pasta and cook until done, about 4 more minutes. Put the pasta mixture into a strainer, rinse with cold water, and drain.
Put pasta mixture, tomatoes, and tofu in a large bowl. Dress with some of the remaining dressing. You probably won't need the entire amount. Check for seasoning and garnish with torn fresh basil leaves.

9 comments:

  1. This looks so summery and refreshing! I bet it's delicious too :)

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  2. This looks like a great summer meal. And a great way to take advantage of the bounty of summer!

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  3. Beautiful picture!

    I've been looking for a good balsamic vinaigrette recipe. I'm going to give your recipe a try. Thanks!

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  4. This looks so fresh and terrific! And those little tofu squares are calling my name -- I didn't get any tofu at the store this week and I'm really missing it!

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  5. Bek, thanks! It received Don's thumbs up!

    Jennifer, I just love this little orange tomatoes! Mmm, summer produce.

    Jennycestcake, this is one of my favorite dressings. Hope you like it!

    Ruby Red Vegan, thanks! The tofu was nicely browned from the balsamic and tasted great.

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  6. Looks so fresh and seasonal! A great photo too.

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  7. what a great local dish! and i think the dressing sounds perfect! dan & i might have to try this dish out and serve it at our next cookout! mmmmm! thanks for the recipe, Lisa!

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  8. Very nice.

    You should enter this is Presto Pasta Nights.

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  9. Vegan Noodle, thank you!

    Jessy, hope you like it!

    Nate n Annie, thanks!

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