The "Three Tries" theory – Tofu "polpette" with curry, leeks, carrots and sesame – Avocado and tomato salad
La teoria delle “Tre Prove” – Polpette di tofu al curry con porri, carote, e grani di sesamo, insalatina di pomodori e avocado
I heard so many terrible tofu complaints from so many people that I need to defend this poor little white thingy. I don’t want tofu to be the “forgotten” ingredient, and it tends to be, of course except among vegetarians or vegans and maybe Asia. I think tofu is a very pleasant product to use and also versatile that people should include more often in their diet. Even for the ones who want “real” food (I heard that before) or something tasty, they should try this recipe. I don’t make it very often but once in a while, when well spiced up, I really like it.
I made this for a birthday buffet party with all French/Italians, who are big meat eaters (my friends are) and just the thought of tofu makes them cringe, “ah non! pas de tofu!!” or “c’est quoi ce truc?”, “ma chi te lo mangia il tofu?”. Surprisingly, those polpette went quicker than I had expected, which made me laugh deep inside. I have some of the most traditional friends when it comes to food, they are so basic in their eating habits, that you would not believe it. The traditional Friday night “steak-frites” (steak and fries) in the same restaurant has been a must for years. I do not like habits in the kitchen and especially in my diet, but some people do, I think it gives them a sense of security and comfort. It gives me anxiety.
My theory is the “three tries” or “three chance” theory, I use it to almost everything…If I don’t like something once, I will try it again, and I think after three times, I somehow have a good idea of what it is. It’s the same thing when dealing with people, restaurants, etc… If I have a bad experience once or twice it doesn’t mean that’s the way it usually is. So people deserve more than one chance and food too!
These polpette are on the tender side and quite fragile since they don’t contain any eggs nor bread crumbs (you can add one egg and some breadcrumbs if you wish) because I wanted to keep them vegan, so when turning them make sure you use a small size spatula, or they might break.
Ingredients for 6 polpette
- 1/2 lb (or 220 g) extra firm tofu
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 leek, chopped crosswise
- 1 shallot
- 1 inch ginger root, grated
- 1 tsp mild curry
- chili powder (to your taste)
- 1 tbs light soy sauce
- 1 tbs white sesame seeds
- 2 tbs cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil (or more)
- salt and pepper
For the salad
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 tbs avocado oil
- Juice of one meyer lemon
- 2 chives, chopped
- salt and pepper
For the polpette
First in a container, crumble tofu with your hands, it needs to be a crumbly mixture.
In a small pan, brown sesame seeds and set aside.
Cook leeks in olive oil, until soft and tender and set aside.
In another pan, heat olive oil, add shallot and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add curry and chili powder and stir well for a few minutes (but do not burn it), add soy sauce, and mix well. Add leeks and carrots and stir well so the curry is well blended. Add sesame seeds and add this mixture to the crumbled tofu. Add cilantro. Using your hands, mix it very well so that the curry has penetrated all the ingredients and the mixture has a yellowish color.
Form patties and cook in a pan with olive oil. Carefully turn them to brown them on both sides.
Make the salad combining all the ingredients and serve with polpette.
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