Is there anything you would suggest to make this dairy free? I suspect if you drop the cheese it might be dull.

  • Posted by: cindy
  • July 29, 2019
Summer Farro Salad
Recipe question for: Summer Farro Salad


Lori T. July 29, 2019
While you are considering the tofu, I'd like to mention that tofu cubes respond well to marinades of all sorts. I press firm blocks for a while to remove any excess water, and then cut into bite size cubes. It will then sit in the marinade for a few hours, up to overnight if I need or want it to. You can use just about any type seasoning you'd like, and use both a liquid and a fat/oil as flavor carriers into the tofu. Some flavors, like soy will seep in quickly, but things like garlic and dried herbs need the oil to transport them so take longer time. There are a lot of marinade ideas at various vegan sites to give you inspiration. You could vary the marinade to change the personality of your salad, and give it an Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern or Oriental twist. As the recipe is now, you could even use some of the dressing to do the marinating.
cindy July 29, 2019
Great idea! Would you have any marinades in mind besides the dressing in the recipe? I'm always looking for a good tofu marinade.
Lori T. July 30, 2019
My go-to is based on a basic vinaigrette, and I vary the spices depending on what dish I have in mind. I've used a Greek blend, and a Middle Eastern blend called green zaatar, as well as a blend meant to make schawarma, and one for making satay. In those cases, instead of EVOO, I use sesame or canola oil. The only thing is that if you use ground spices like curry, you will need to cook the tofu cubes to avoid any raw or harsh flavors from that. I also marinate cubes in a mix of 1/4 cup plain water, 1/4 cup canola( or other bland oil), 2 T brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once it is drained and patted somewhat dry, I then fry that crispy and substitute it for bacon bits in salads. However, for salads like this one, which have a dressing in the recipe, I just use part of the dressing. In this case, you are looking at primarily a texture substitute, rather than a particular flavor- so it doesn't need to be cooked.
Stephanie B. July 29, 2019
Fresh mozzarella isn't the most robust cheese, so I don't think it would be dull without. But there are a number of things you could substitute that I think would taste good. Maybe roasted very firm tofu, a dollop of Gena Hamshaw's vegan cashew cheese (, or even something as simple as a sprinkle of pine nuts. The pine nuts are not even trying to be mozzarella, I just think it might taste good and add some fattiness in place of the cheese.
cindy July 29, 2019
Stephanie, thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. I really appreciate the options!
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