This salad was once again inspired by my bi-weekly Farmhouse Delivery bushel. What I love most about receiving a box of “surprise” vegetables is that it takes the guesswork out of deciding what’s for dinner. My general CSA strategy is to try to use the lettuces first so I usually start my week with a big salad for dinner.
This salad is an all-veggie version of a cobb salad. It’s packed with fresh summer corn, crispy cucumbers, zucchini and the first of the seasons’ cherry tomatoes. I made a creamy vegan cashew-based “buttermilk-like” dressing and coconut “bacon.” It’s a lot of quotation marks for one meal, but I promise (whether you’re vegan or not) you’re going to love it.
I made my salad a full meal by adding baked tofu and avocado, but you can customize this with whatever proteins and cheeses you like.
The coconut “bacon” here is a wonderful thing – just bake unsweetened coconut flakes with tamari, maple syrup and smoked paprika and you get these tasty little crispy salty bacon-like bits. I also have a recipe in the cookbook (page 171) for shiitake bacon, which would also be wonderful here.
Store extra dressing for around 5 days. You’ll want to pour this yummy creamy dressing on everything.
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or peeled into ribbons
- 1 ear of corn, grilled, kernels sliced off cobb
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
- 12 to 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cubed
- ½ cup coconut “bacon” (recipe below)
- 1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1½ tablespoons tamari
- scant 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight, drained and rinsed
- ½ to ¾ cups fresh water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a blender, combine the cashews, ½ cup water, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Blend until creamy, adding more water if necessary. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Chill until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes along with the tamari, maple syrup and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tofu cubes on the pan and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and generous pinches of salt. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
- In a serving bowl, assemble the salad with the romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, corn, avocado and tofu. Top with the coconut “bacon” and serve with the dressing on the side. Store any extra dressing in a sealed container in the fridge.