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Wild rice salad with crispy tofu

Ingredients:

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 ears corn
  • Olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1 package firm tofu, drained well, medium diced
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup English cucumbers, seeds removed, small diced
  • 1/2 cup radishes, small diced (or sliced on mandolin)
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs of your choice (basil, mint, dill, parsley)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pot of unsalted water. Once water is boiled, add the wild rice. After 15-20 minutes, the grains will start to split; at this point you can add salt to the water to flavor the rice and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until tender. Drain well, rinse, and cool the rice for later use. Note: the rice will not be tender if you salt it in the beginning.
  3. Char the corn on the grill until there is color, cut kernels off, and chill (discard cobs).
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan. Toss tofu in a mixture of rice flour and cornstarch, and shake off excess. Sauté for 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Remove onto a paper towel and season lightly with salt.
  5. Get a large mixing bowl; add cooked wild rice, grilled corn kernels, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, kidney beans, parsley, basil, and enough dressing to absorb well into the rice. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  6. Taste it to make sure it has an even amount of acid and brightness from the vinaigrette and fresh herbs. Garnish with additional chopped basil and parsley if needed.
  7. Top with crispy tofu and serve immediately.