This deliciously tangy and fresh salad is super easy to whip up and can accompany any number of main dishes, try combining with our Turkish lentil soup, or simply serve it up on it’s own. The lemony freshness makes it a perfectly refreshing salad to eat on a hot day, but you can really enjoy it any time of the year. It literally takes longer to eat it than to prepare, so this is a great option if you are limited on time but still want to eat healthily.
I love the contrast between the reds and greens, the sweet and tangy flavours, and the soft and crunchy textures. For a simple salad with just a few ingredients, there’s a surprising richness to how it all comes together to tickle your tastebuds.
There are plenty of ways you could vary the ingredients depending on your preference and what you have available. The key is in the simple contrast between sweet and sour, as well as soft and crunchy. So, don’t be afraid to experiment by replacing one ingredient with another one with similar characteristics.
Here are a few suggestions for variations:
- The basil tofu adds a subtle aromatic touch, but you can easily exchange for plain tofu or just about any other flavoured types.
- The friggitelli chili peppers and cayenne add a touch of heat, which I love. If you like the crunch but prefer it without the kick, then leave out the cayenne pepper and replace the friggitelli with pickled gherkins or fresh cucumber. If you go with cucumber, add a quarter of a teaspoon of white wine or apple cider vinegar as well, to replace the tanginess.
- Add fresh baby spinach for additional texture, not to mention excellent nutritional value.
How to prepare your salad ingredients
Are you planning on eating the salad immediately after preparing it? Then, I recommend using chilled ingredients from the fridge for that extra freshness. If your ingredients are not already cooled, but you do have the luxury of a little time, pop the finished salad in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
To start, give your tomatoes and red pepper a thorough rinse with cool water. Then, it’s time to get choppin’. Be playful and embrace the way you chop up each ingredient. After all, it’s basically the only preparation technique involved in this dish – get creative! It”ll make the salad all the more interesting to eat if there’s a variety of sizes and shapes to experience.
I chose to chop the tomatoes into quarters and the tofu into roughly the same size as sugar cubes. I opted for slicing the olives and friggitelli chili peppers into generously sized rings. Then, I paid extra attention to dicing the red pepper and white onion finely, to maximise the balance of flavours and textures in the final mix.
When you add the lemon juice and seasoning you could also add the olive oil if you are ready to serve. If you plan to store it for later, leave the oil out. Drizzle it on top when you serve, otherwise you’ll lose some of the crunchiness as the oil soaks in.
That’s really all there is to it! A simple salad that packs a pleasant punch and crunch. You can really play with the combination and add whichever fresh salad ingredients, herbs and spices you fancy. If you try it out, let me know which ingredients you used and how it turned out in the comments below.
I’m adding more Planet Plantastic recipes regularly so, check out the recipes section for more scrumptious and healthy plant-based meal ideas, or find out how to stay healthy on a plant-based diet with our vegan nutrition essentials series.
Tangy Cherry Tomato & Basil Tofu Salad
- Mixing bowl
- 200 g cherry tomatoes approx. 20 tomatoes chopped into quarters
- 1/4 medium white onion finely diced
- 6 friggitelli (sweet Italian chili peppers) chopped into rings
- 100 g basil tofu cubed
- 50 g black olives chopped into rings
- 1/2 red pepper finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 pinch Himalayan rock salt to taste
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top when serving
- Chop up the tomatoes, onion, friggitelli, tofu, red pepper and olives and combine in a mixing bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and black pepper, and the spices. Mix well.
- Drizzle with olive oil to serve, plus salt and black pepper to taste (optional).