After making my own balsamic reduction sauce I realized that the number of uses for it are endless. I think the most common use is on a caprese salad aka tomato-mozzarella salad. But wait! Did you know that a traditional Italian caprese salad doesn't have any vinegar on it? I didn't. However, I think it has become standard practice to add balsamic vinegar to a caprese salad, especially across the US.
I think I forgot something. Right! Obviously a caprese salad is NOT vegan. Who says that us vegans can't have one though?
For this vegan caprese salad I replaced mozzarella with tofu. It almost looks the same and it sure fooled Hubbs and #1 at first. Sure, tofu won't taste like mozzarella but for us vegans it's a really easy replacement. Top it with a quick and easy basil pesto and some homemade balsamic reduction sauce and you've got yourself one healthy vegan caprese salad!
Quick note to the basil pesto recipe: It is so easy! Did I already mention that? Just pop 4 ingredients into a food processor, blend, and done. The basil pesto is delicious not only on this vegan caprese salad but also on bread, pasta, etc. Believe me, you will not be buying anymore store bought pesto after making this. Now add it on top of the tomatoes and tofu and you are golden!
Vegan Caprese Salad with Tofu
- 1 cup fresh Basil
- 1 Garlic clove
- ½ cup Cashews
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked Pepper
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 7 ounces 200g Organic Firm Tofu
- 2 large Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoon Balsamic Reduction Sauce
Wash and dry the basil leaves. Put aside 6 leaves for garnish. Place the remaining basil leaves together with the garlic, cashews, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor and blend.
Cut out tofu block using a circle cookie cutter or a knife. Slice tofu into ¼ inch slices.
Marinate tofu slices in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper for about 3 - 5 minutes.
Wash and cut tomatoes into ¼ inch slices.
Alternate placing tomato and tofu slices on a large plate. Add a large teaspoon of basil pesto on each tofu slice.
Garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce.
1) Use a store bought balsamic reduction sauce or easily make your own. A link can be found on the bottom of the page. 2) Refrigerate covered if not serving right away.
This is one of my favorite summer salads. It's refreshing and filling. It's quick and easy. It's vegan! What else do you want? Oh, some cookies? Alright fine, here are some great ones :)
To learn how to make your own balsamic reduction sauce, click here!
Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says
What a clever recipe! I adore balsamic reductions (and caprese salads!), and the swap for tofu is just brilliant! Mozzarella has such a mild flavor anyway, I almost feel like it adds texture more than big flavor, so I can imagine that the balsamic and that gorgeous pesto really kinda mask the fact that you're not actually using mozzarella - so smart! And what a lovely touch to cut the tofu into such pretty flower shapes! Yum! Definitely pinning this great idea! :D
Thanks Shelley! This is one of the only ways my 3yr old (and hubby) will eat tofu. :)
Beautiful! And such a great idea to add pesto to the salad. Thanks for the recipe!!