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Tomato, "Mozzarella", Basil Brown Rice Salad

What you need: 

1 1/2 cups long-, medium- or short-grain brown rice
2 1/3 cups water or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (for rice)
1/3 cup Champagne, rice wine or red vinegar
2 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoons kosher salt (for dressing)
2 teaspoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced or cherry cut in 1/2 (have used crushed in can when in pinch drain and save liquid if need wetter salad)
8 oz of tofu (White Wave firm, or 365 extra firm Tofu)
1 cup packed basil leaves (1 large bunch), chopped

What you do: 

1. Press the tofu between a two cookie sheets weighted down lined with kitchen towels to get rid of some of the liquid contained in the tofu for around 30 min.
2. Adjust the oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch square baking dish.
3. Bring water and oil to boil, covered, in medium saucepan over high heat; once boiling, immediately stir in salt and pour water over rice. Cover baking dish tightly with doubled layer of foil. Bake rice 1 hour, until tender. To minimize any loss of water through evaporation, cover the saucepan and use the water as soon as it reaches a boil. An 8-inch ceramic baking dish with a lid may be used instead of the baking dish and foil.
4. Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with dinner fork and let rice stand 5 minutes.
5. Transfer to mixing bowl.
6. Cut the tofu into small bite size pieces
7. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes, tofu and basil. Mix well and check the seasonings.
Serve immediately for warm side dish or chill in refrigerator for cold side dish.
If you are making this dish for people who are not into tofu you can marinate the tofu. I will just double the amount of dressing and marinate the tofu with 1/2 of the dressing for about 30 min. If you press the tofu, then start the rice, and about 30 min after the rice has started start marinating the tofu it all comes about ready about the same time.

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4 to 5
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

Anonymous

I'm VERY into tofu, and I think marinating the tofu is a must. The texture is just right, but to me the tofu needs a little... saltiness, I guess.

I LOVE caprese salads (tomato/basil/mozzarella), so having a vegan version of it is just awesome. The tofu is just the right texture--much better than vegan mozzarella for creating the softer texture--but the tofu did seem just a little bland for me. I think marinating it would be perfect.

Some adjustments I made: I cooked my rice in the steamer rather than in the oven. I didnt' have cherry tomatoes so I used chopped hothouse tomatoes. Also, I just layed the tofu, tomatoes, and basil over the rice (in that order), and mixed it together as I went along. If I continued to present it like that, I would drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the tomatoes for extra flavor. (Each serving only has .5 tbsp. of oil if you divide it into four servings, so I figure there is room to spare for a drizzle!)

The rice has a great flavor with this marinade. However, I also made this last week on a sandwich--piling the tofu (marinated this time), tomatoes, and herbs on bread with a little olive oil on the sandwich as a dressing. SO good, and even better if I find some good crusty bread.

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