I've got an actual recipe for you today, guys!
The only problem is that after you've seen the finished product, you will probably thing you don't want it.
Yeah, I know it's not pretty. But I've eaten almost that entire bowl by myself over the course of thirty-six hours. So stick with me. If you can get past the lumpy grayness, you're in for a treat.
If you're an Orangette reader, you might remember Molly Wizenberg mentioning a mushroom salad from Saveur magazine's sandwich issue a few months back. She said the salad was easily overlooked among that issue's other delights, but that it was delicious and prodigiously ugly. Turns out she was right on all three counts. Of course, Molly is usually right about all things food, but I digress.
This isn't the exact same salad. This is the veganized version, and I'd say it's far superior to the original because it replaces disgusting hard boiled eggs with tender tofu. Sorry if you're a hard boiled fan, but that food has a place of honor on the short list of edibles I simply detest. Those foul little things were the main reason I haven't made said salad before, not to mention the fact that mushrooms usually don't last very long in our house (Red and I have a wee fungus fixation. We're okay with it). But suddenly MoFo arrived and found me with Nasoya's Extra Firm in the fridge and an eight ounce package of shrooms at my disposal. It was just meant to be.
I can't really do the flavors in this little mash-up justice. There's sweetness from the caramelized onions, the tenderness of the tofu, the fleshy bite of the mushrooms, creaminess from the Vegenaise (too much creaminess, actually - I think I'll cut it back by a couple of tablespoons next time). And then there's the dill and the lemon... just trust me, it's good. It has to be, since it keeps leaping onto my spoon.
Or onto my Vollkornbrot.
I know that's not what your eyes are saying, but I stand by my claim. Yum.
Mushroom Salad with Tofu and Dill
Makes one generous cup.
3 T olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms (I used presliced creminis)
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped (I like onion. If you don't, decrease your allium accordingly)
1 to 2 t dried dill (use as much as you want, or use fresh if you like)
2 ounces firm tofu, pressed and roughly chopped
4 to 6 T vegan mayonnaise
2 t lemon juice (go with one if you're not an acid freak like me)
1 T fancy pants mustard (the original recipe called for Dijon. I used Gulden's spicy. Suit yourself)
Salt and pepper
1. Pour 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrooms and sautee until they're tender and starting to give off their liquid. Set aside in a medium sized bowl.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Pour the other 2 T of olive oil in the skillet. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft, sweet, and deep brown. This took me about ten minutes. If the onions start to stick or burn, pour a couple of tablespoons of water into the mix and let it evaporate off. When they're done caramelizing, add them to the bowl o' shrooms.
3. Add the chopped tofu to the mushroom/onion mixture. Crumble the dried dill on top.
4. In another, smaller bowl, mix together the vegan mayo(start with the 4 tablespoons or less), lemon juice, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dump the creamy mixture into the veggie/tofu mixture and combine. Taste, add more mayo to bind if necessary, and adjust seasonings if needed. This is good cold or at room temperature, and it improves after a day or two's siesta in the fridge.