Inspired by the combination of peanut sauce with vegetables in Southeast Asia, found in dishes such as gado gado in Indonesia and summer rolls in Vietnam, this streamlined salad would work just as well as a vegetarian main dish to eat with rice or noodles. The green beans are cooked for only a short while so that they stay crunchy. If you prefer floppy beans, you can cook them longer. And if you want something more refreshing and don’t want to turn on the stove, you can skip the beans altogether and use cut-up cucumbers and tomatoes instead.
Green Bean and Tofu Salad with Peanut Dressing
• 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
• 12 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
• 1 (14-ounce) box extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, stir the peanut butter, hoisin, lime juice, sugar and red-pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons boiling water from the saucepan to the peanut dressing and stir well. The dressing should be runny but still thick. If needed, stir in another tablespoon boiling water.
Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until brighter in color and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cold water until cool, then drain again. Transfer the green beans and tofu to the peanut dressing and stir gently until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt, then sprinkle with more red-pepper flakes. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Total time: 20 minutes, serves 4.