Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Melon Salad with Tofu

1 package extra firm tofu
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 lime, zest finely grated plus 2 limes, juiced
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, optional
1 ripe honeydew melon
1 ripe, small round red watermelon
1 tablespoon finely chopped purple-basil leaves, plus additional
small leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus additional small

Fry thin slices of extra firm tofu in olive oil until crispy.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, ginger, lemongrass,
lime zest and juice, and hot sauce. Season with salt
and pepper. Set aside.

Halve the honeydew and watermelon, cut away from rind, and remove
the seeds. Slice the melons into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Remove the
watermelon seeds (it's okay if the slices don't stay intact). Using
a cake ring or a glass whose mouth is slightly smaller that that of
a 14- to 16-ounce martini glass or champagne coupe, cut out 16
slices from the watermelon, and 16 slices from the honeydew. Save
the best-looking 4 watermelon slices.

Set out 4 (8 to 12-ounce) martini glasses or Champagne coupes.

Layer 2 slices of watermelon and honeydew in each glass, lightly
sprinkling each melon layer with the lemongrass dressing, chopped
basil, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. (You may need to trim
the melon slices so they fit neatly into the glasses, which should
be half-full at this point.) Divide the tofu slices among the glasses,
arranging them in concentric circles. Season the tofu with the
dressing, basil, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Add another layer of
melon in the reverse order: honeydew, then watermelon, seasoning
as before. Top each salad with a reserved watermelon slice, and
sprinkle lightly with the dressing, basil, cilantro, salt, and
pepper. Garnish with 1 basil and 1 cilantro leaf. Refrigerate for
at least 1 hour before serving (the melon and tofu taste best
when well chilled).

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