He may be known for his potty-mouth and explosive, imploding personality but New York Chef David Chang of the mini Momofuku restaurant empire can sure put together one soothing, serene dish.
That’s just what you’ll enjoy in his “Cherry Tomato & Tofu Salad” from the newest Alice Waters cookbook, “In the Green Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter).
The founder of the landmark restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, Waters put this book together from dishes created by chefs at the 2008 Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco. The premise of the book, is that by keeping a well stocked pantry, learning a few basic techniques and seeking out the best organic, local and seasonal ingredients, anyone can create simple meals that nourish and satisfy.
I was fortunate enough to see Chang create this tofu dish at a cooking demo at Slow Food Nation. It’s a super simple dish of creamy, cold tofu topped with a zingy dressing of sherry vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil and sesame seeds that’s finished with refreshing shiso leaves and a bountiful handful of sweet summer cherry tomatoes. If you don’t have shiso readily available, fresh mint or basil leaves would make a fine substitution.
It’s like an Asian take on insalata caprese, with good-for-you tofu standing in for mozzarella. Enjoy it as a first course or as a light lunch on a lazy, warm afternoon, when the only swearing you plan to do is about how good this is.
From David Chang, In the Green Kitchen, by Alice Waters