Whenever I make something without a recipe, I don't think it's really worthy of a photo. Or mentioning, or writing about. But if this salad had been from a recipe in a cookbook it's quite possible I'd be raving about it and excited to post. Anyway, my boyfriend and I created this most delicious salad.
-lettuce picked fresh from a relative's garden (lucky!)
-smoked tofu (everyone must try this, and I'm sure it's not the healthiest way to eat tofu but it's so good - reminds me of smoked gouda)
-grated mozzarella cheese, and spiced pecans (from my favourite cookbook Rebar)
-with a basil vinaigrette (also from the Rebar cookbook, simple and tasty).
I think my problem when creating salads before (and being disappointed with the outcome) was that I wanted to add way too many things, which is just overwhelming. I stupidly cooked the spiced pecans in the toaster oven (even after preheating the oven for them...) so half of them ended up burnt within minutes. Disappointing, but I could tell that they would've been really good and the unburnt ones didn't taste too bad. The spiced pecans paired so extremely well with the smoked tofu - it kind of tasted like bacon, which I really miss as a vegetarian. Fake bacon is just nowhere near real bacon.
(Adapted from the best cookbook ever, aka the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook)
1 tbsp butter
2 cups pecans
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Melt and foam butter in a skillet. Add pecans and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and let it melt; then add all of the spices and stir well to coat. Deglaze the pan with vinegar and cook until the liquid evaporates. Transfer the nuts to a parchment-lined baking pan and roast in a 300F oven for 5-10 minutes.
My notes: Watch the pecans closely when roasting them to make sure they don't burn.