It seems everywhere I turn in the "blog-o-sphere" I'm spotting those summer-perfect Feta and Watermelon Salads. Juicy sweet watermelon cubes and savory crumbles of feta cheese - sometimes accented by sweet basil leaves.
Veganized. Since I have seen a few vegan bloggers turn firm tofu cubes into flavorful cubes of feta-cheese-like deliciousness, I wanted to give this classic summer salad a try. And hopefully satisfy my summer salad craving! Plus, I'm always super excited to be work with a new-to-me ingredient: white miso paste! Get my recipe for Tofu Feta, Watermelon, Basil Salad..
White Miso Paste? I found a few "tofu feta" recipes online, and they all seemed to contain the ingredient: white miso paste. So I took a sunny lunch hour stroll to Whole Foods and looked around for this stuff.
I asked the stock boy if he knew where to find "white miso paste" and with bright eyes he said, "Yes! Let me take you to it!" I was impressed that he did indeed know exactly what I was looking for. He even dug in the back of the fridge to find me "white" miso paste - since all we could see out front was red and brown varieties. Hmmph, I was quite excited to give this stuff a try and use it in a variety of recipes! Especially since miso is so healthy.
Miso Paste Taste Test: white miso paste is a concentrated form of salty-savory, almost cheesy-flavored miso. Unlike miso powder, it can easily be blended into liquid to form a thick, slightly creamy/cloudy liquid. I have worked with miso powder before - and can now definitely say I now prefer paste form. I can't wait to experiment more with this stuff and give the red/brown versions a try too.
Salad Recipe. So I puttered around my kitchen making this salad and was very pleased with the results. Savory sweet, loaded with protein from the tofu - nice and salty from the white miso. I was pleased.
Watermelon/Feta Salad craving: satisfied!
Fun Party Serving Idea: For a party, make little "feta" watermelon, basil leaf appetizers. Place one cube of tofu and one cube of watermelon on a toothpick - add a basil leaf too. Serve on a platter.
Here's the recipe..
Tofu Feta, Watermelon and Basil Salad
18 ounces firm tofu, drained/squeezed dry
2 cups fresh watermelon, cubed
1 cup fresh basil, shredded
spices: cayenne, black pepper
optional: 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp white miso paste
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
garnish: basil leaves, EVOO drizzle over top, pepper
1. Prep your tofu - drain, squeeze dry with paper towel, slice into cubes.
2. In a small glass, briskly stir your white miso marinade until the miso paste blends into the liquid. If you need to thin the dressing out a bit more you can either add water - or more lemon juice or vinegar. Whatever flavor you would like to lead your salad flavor profile with. I added a splash more rice vinegar to mine. But the recipe - as stated - works too. You don't want to add too much liquid and risk "sogging" up your tofu.
3. In a large bowl, toss the tofu with the miso marinade. Place in fridge to chill and marinate for at least a half hour - overnight is best for optimal flavor infusion.
4. Toss your tofu with your diced watermelon cubes and chopped basil. Add optional spices and nooch flakes. Top with pepper and optional drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with fresh basil.