Sharpen your knives - this salad requires some chopping. You chop chives, cabbage, and red onions. You slice tofu and shallot after shallot. I'm inclined to argue it is well worth the effort. I saw a Cobb Salad at a cafe a month or so back, each ingredient in its own little colorful quadrant, and thought, hey, I'd like that - but re-mixed with ingredients from my own kitchen and pantry. The resulting salad is fresh and crunchy with deep, toasty, nuttiness from the almonds and plenty of depth from a generous helping of "just-this-side-of-burnt" pan-fried shallots. I tossed everything together with a simple miso dressing - one that I sometimes like to drizzle over baked tofu. In fact I threw in some of that as well. This salad is perfect for a hot day, and the good news is that you can do much of the prep in advance.
The dressing you can make a day or two ahead of time - any extra is great drizzled over baked tofu, brown rice bowls, grilled asparagus, lots of things. Toasted nuts can be done in advance, same goes for chopping the chives, as well as the cooking of the shallots - you want them at room temperature.
Chopped Miso Salad Recipe
I used Westbrae Natural Organic Mellow Brown Rice Miso for the dressing. If you like the flavor of sesame oil - go ahead and add it to your dressing in fact you can go ahead and add it "to taste" - although sometimes I like to go a bit more neutral and skip rhe sesame oil altogether. I also had two small heads of little gem lettuce so I threw them in here as well. You can use any kind of extra-firm tofu you like here - this salad works well with baked tofu or plain. Tofu cooked in a skillet for a few minutes to take on some color is great - I cheated a bit and used Soy Deli baked tofu (savory) for the salad pictured up above.
1 1/2 cups shallots, skinned and thinly sliced
splash of extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons miso
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard (or a bit of whatever mustard you have around)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey or agave)
1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
1/3 cup mild flavored extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure toasted sesame oil (optional)
1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
3/4 cup chives, minced
8 ounces extra-firm tofu (see headnotes), room temperature
Stir together the shallots, splash of olive oil and big pinch of salt In a large skillet over medium heat. Stir every few minutes, you want the shallots to slowly brown over about 15 minutes. Let them get dark, dark brown (but not burn). if needed turn down the heat. Remove them from the skillet and onto a paper towel to cool in a single layer. they should crisp up a bit.
Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and brown sugar together. Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it's smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil. Two pinches of fine grain salt. Taste and make any adjustments if needed.
Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half.
Gently toss the cabbage, shallots, almonds, red onion, chives and tofu in a large mixing/salad bowl. Add a generous drizzle of the miso dressing and toss again - until the dressing is evenly distributed. Add more a bit at a time if needed, until the salad is dressed to your liking.
Serves 3 - 4 as a main dish, 6 - 8 as a side.