June 14, 2013 by Meg G.
A few months ago, Heather excitedly informed me that we were going to start a Picnic Club. She had been reading one of her favorite blogs and became suddenly inspired by the simple wisdom of “Tea” of Tea & Cookies:
“We all lead busy, complicated lives these days. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time for simple pleasures. For me it’s been a conscious decision. In moving to Seattle, in rebuilding my life in a new place with a slightly slower pace, I’ve focused on these sorts of things that feel like they feed me in an important way. I wanted community, I wanted greater simplicity, I wanted the sort of life where spending Monday evening sitting on picnic blankets and laughing with friends makes sense, where it feels right, where it was even possible.”
Those words resonated so deeply. Moving back to Providence was a choice rooted in our love for the community that we helped to nurture here. I consider it a great gift that we have a slew of people who are eager to join us for a spontaneous picnic! So, despite the fact that it rained and we picnicked in our living room, it was a wonderful evening full of simple meals, great friends, and tons of laughter.
Our contribution? This lovely cucumber, avocado, and tofu salad inspired by 101 Cookbooks. It’s light, easy, and perfect for picnicking. Here goes!
Cucumber Avocado Tofu Salad – inspired by 101 Cookbooks
- 4 small cucumbers
- handful of fresh cilantro (about 1/2 – 2/3 cup loosely packed)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (and a bit of lime juice, if you’re feeling it)
- a pinch or two of salt
- 14 oz firm tofu, cubed
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 avocado, diced
- Partially peel the cucumbers by using a peeler to make “stripes” down the length of them. (Or you can peel it all the way or leave it unpeeled.) Quarter and then slice to about 1/4″ thickness.
- Combine cucumbers, cilantro, olive oil, lemon/lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Let marinade for at least 20 minutes and toss gently from time to time.
- Meanwhile, cook the tofu over medium-hight heat with a bit of olive oil. You want the tofu to brown, but not become overly crispy. Toss once or twice to brown it evenly. Set aside to cool.
- Spoon the cucumbers out of the lemon-olive oil mixture and place in a large bowl. Add the tofu, pine nuts, and half of the dressing to start. Toss and taste for seasoning. Add more dressing as desired. When you’re ready to serve, add the avocado and toss again.
Heidi recommends serving this salad over lentils or other beans, but this would be equally lovely served over some fresh salad greens. We served it as-is. Simple trumps fancy at picnic club.
Feeling inspired? Go ahead. Get your picnic on! It will be totally awesome, I promise.