This salad is perfect for a hot day, and most of it can be done in advance.
- 1 ½ c shallots, skinned and thinly sliced
- Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp miso
- ½ tsp powdered mustard (or a bit of whatever mustard you have around)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (or honey or agave)
- ¼ c (brown) rice vinegar
- 1/3 c mild flavored extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp pure toasted sesame oil (optional)
- 1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
- 1 c slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
- ¾ c chives, minced
- 8 oz extra-firm tofu (see headnotes), room temperature
Stir together the shallots, splash of olive oil and big pinch of salt In a large skillet over medium heat. Stir every few minutes, you want the shallots to slowly brown over about 15 minutes. Let them get dark, dark brown (but not burn). If needed turn down the heat. Remove them from the skillet and onto a paper towel to cool in a single layer. They should crisp up a bit.
Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and brown sugar together. Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it's smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil. Two pinches of fine grain salt. Taste and make any adjustments if needed.
Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half.
Gently toss the cabbage, shallots, almonds, red onion, chives and tofu in a large mixing/salad bowl. Add a generous drizzle of the miso dressing and toss again - until the dressing is evenly distributed. Add more a bit at a time if needed, until the salad is dressed to your liking.
H.S. note: The dressing you can make a day or two ahead of time - any extra is great drizzled over baked tofu, brown rice bowls, grilled asparagus, lots of things. Toasted nuts can be done in advance, same goes for chopping the chives, as well as the cooking of the shallots - you want them at room temperature.