Elegant starter: vegan salad with mint, basil, pineapple sage, fruit and smoked tofu

IMG_4124 Before I start I would like to say – I do eat other things apart from tofu, I really do. I realize that my recent posts might suggest otherwise, but trust me on this. On a recent business trip I was perusing the starters and as I am trying for a vegan or at least vegetarian lifestyle and failing that fish + vegetarian, I was struggling to find anything on the menu until I came across the salad depicted in the last photograph on slate.Β  I recreated it at home picture above and below. I was on a business trip on last Fiesta Friday so as so often I bring a Monday offering to the feast πŸ™‚ ! If you don’t know FF and want to meet more foodies head over to Angies!IMG_4129

Serves 2 hungry and open-minded people in about 15 minutes or shorter if you are working together in the kitchen


  • 1/2 a mango sliced
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1 appled peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 golden kiwi cut into pieces
  • 1 handful fresh strawberries from the plants on your balcony
  • half a nectarine sliced
  • 2 chicory heads washed and sliced
  • 1 cup lettuce leaves or more washed and dried.
  • 1 handful green thai beans blanched but still crunchy
  • 150 g smoked tofu cubed. If the tofu is not very smoky you can dribble some liquid smoke over the top (this is only possible if you happen toΒ  have a supermarket close to you that stocks this type of thing (in my case a supermarket in the San Fran on a trip there, I buy stuff I cannot get my hands on while traveling in case I ever need them.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple vinegar
  • juice of half an orange
  • salt to taste


  • fresh mint leaves half a handful
  • fresh pineapple sage leaves half a handful
  • fresh basilΒ  half a handful

Get your ingredients ready, get a nice serving dish, you can see below that the restaurant used slate, which is beautiful but not practical for home use. Put lettuce down first then chicoree, spread the fruits over the top artistically, top with the cubed tofu and drizzle with the sauce, Decorate with the fresh herb leaves, and if you like drape the thai beans over the top.

Pretty, delicious and very happiness inducing!

Below the original eaten at a hotel in Northern Italy has zucchini, grapes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, smoked tofu, nectarines, carrots and radicchio rosso, green beans, frissee salad, and grilled zucchini. It was served with a non garlic pesto and looked and tasted so divine I had to make it at home




16 thoughts on “Elegant starter: vegan salad with mint, basil, pineapple sage, fruit and smoked tofu

  1. Sounds quite yummy, actually. I happen to love tofu, unlike most people. Especially dipped in soy sauce, a la age tofu. So delicious! What a healthy-looking salad, Polianthus. Colorful, too. That’s always a plus. πŸ™‚

    • Hello my dear Angie, thanks for commenting and popping by despite being such a busy bee and hostess, I loved your post, with the cider and the chili con carne and the tofu option as well, i will have to check your recommendation again – freeze tofu and then grate for Ersatz mince πŸ™‚ very good idea. Chili looked divine!

  2. No need to apologize for the tofu recipes, especially with so many flavours. And where we live, we must use all those delicious fresh herbs and strawberries on the balconies while they last. Thanks for the tip on the liquid smoke which I have but rarely use, and for bringing your colourful salad to Fiesta Friday.

    • Hi Hilda – tofu + flavour is key πŸ™‚ and you are right where we live we must make the most of everything while it lasts! the liquid smoke I rarely use too, it is pretty strong in flavour but it worked here πŸ™‚

    • it actually was really nice, I had doubts when I ordered in the restaurant, after all who in their right mind would consider ordering tofu in Italy, but being Italian and loving life and food they appear to be incapable of serving anything that has not been creatively transformed into an edible joy in restaurants (unless you are in the tourist areas, and even there it is good food at outrageous prices…)

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