The Cooking Chronicles: Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad

Mack hates tofu. I love tofu. This tends to put our meal planning a little at odds, particularly when I am craving tofu.

While Mack has been amenable to the deep fried cubes of tofu typically included in an Asian hot pot spread, my personal favourite variety are the firm yet silky squares of fresh tofu. We have a wonderful local producer of tofu – Ying Fat in Chinatown (which Brulee Blog wrote a great post about), and really, any easy-to-prepare alternative to meat protein is always a welcome addition to my kitchen.

I earmarked two recipes to experiment with in order to test the tofu waters, so to speak, with Mack. The first was a warm spinach salad recipe from Company’s Coming Cooking at Home.

I tossed some Edgar Farms spinach with sautéed brown mushrooms, a light vinaigrette, and cubes of tofu that had been marinated in the same vinaigrette for an hour. I had thrown the tofu into the skillet containing the mushrooms to warm it gently just before serving, which suited the dish as a whole better, in my opinion.

Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad

The marinade didn’t seem to penetrate the tofu at all however, and I could have done without that step. I really enjoyed the vinaigrette though (made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, grainy mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper), and can see myself using it as a base for other salads. Lastly, some freshly grated parmesan would have provided a needed savoury aspect. Mack’s opinion: after his hesitant first bite, he said the texture was still a bit off for him. He did finish his plate though!

A light summer meal, this salad has a quick turnaround time, but is hearty enough to satisfy warm-weather hunger pangs.