Spring Vegetable Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Spring vegetable salad with creamy sesame dressing

Dress up a bouquet of colorful spring vegetables in this decadently creamy dressing that’s made without cream! The surprise ingredient is silken tofu, so not only will your loved ones be begging for second helpings of vegetables, they’ll get all the enjoyment of cream without the dairy.

Spring Vegetable Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Serves 4

The combination I used:

Creamy Sesame Dressing (recipe below)

Snow peas, trimmed

Carrots, sliced thin and cut into shapes or matchsticks

Lotus root, peeled and sliced

1 t. salt

But you can also use whatever combination of veggies you like best: asparagus, green beans, snap peas, garden peas, etc. Adjust the cooking time upward to about 4 minutes for green beans and shelled peas.

First, wash, peel, and cut vegetables into bite-sized bits.

Cutting carrots for vegetable salad
You can just slice the carrots into thin rounds, but it looks nicer if you cut the rounds into matchsticks or (if you want to get really fancy and Japanese!) use a cookie cutter to make them into plum blossoms

Add salt to a saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Fill a big bowl with cold water. Toss the prepared vegetables into the boiling water and count to fifteen. Pour off water and plunge veggies into the cold water to stop them cooking.

Snow peas, carrots and lotus root, sliced and prepared to put in vegetable salad
Cooking the veggies very slightly makes the colors brighter and softens them just a little. They should still be crunchy.

Dry vegetables with a towel and put them in a bowl, then add spoonfuls of dressing, tossing until coated.

Creamy Sesame Dressing

4 oz. silken tofu (230g)

3 T. rice vinegar (45ml)

3 T. white miso (45g)

1 T. sesame paste (tahini or Japanese nerigoma) (15ml)

1 t. sugar (5g)

2 t. salad oil (10ml)

2 T. water (30ml)

1 T. fresh ginger, grated (15g)

Salt, to taste

Whip tofu with a whisk (or beat with a mixer) until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Silken tofu whisked in a bowl for dressing
You don’t have to get every tiny little lump out of the whipped tofu—it’s fine if it looks like this!

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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