Indonesian-Style Gado-Gado Salad

Cauliflower and florets

I’ll always have a pleasant association with this classic Indonesian salad platter, as it was the first meal I had on my first trip to Paris. Served with plenty of rice, the salad (which always combines raw and lightly cooked vegetables) made for a filling and memorable meal. Though easy to enough to make as an everyday meal, it’s also festive enough to serve to company or to make as a vegan potluck dish. Here’s my Americanized, but still very tasty, interpretation.

Look for peanut satay sauce in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets. You can also substitute Peanut Sauce for the Coconut-Peanut Dressing. This makes for a lively meal served with a simple rice, noodle, or quinoa dish or a soup. 

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 to 3 ounces mixed baby greens, baby spinach, baby arugula,
    Shredded romaine lettuce, or a combination
  • 1 cup green sprouts, like baby pea shoots or broccoli sprouts
  • 4 ounces slender green beans, tips trimmed (see note)
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup baby carrots (thick ones cut in half lengthwise)
  • 3  medium tomatoes, diced, or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Two 8-ounce packages Thai-style or smoked baked tofu

Coconut-Peanut Dressing:

  • One 8-ounce jar peanut satay sauce
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon red or green Thai curry paste, dissolved in a little hot water
    or Sriracha sauce, more or less to taste,
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or natural granulated sugar

Spread the greens on a large serving platter, then sprinkle the sprouts over them.

Place the green beans, cauliflower, and carrots side by side, without mixing, in a wide skillet with about 1/4 inch depth of water. Cover and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all are tender-crisp. Remove each type of vegetable separately with a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander, and refresh under cool water. Transfer to a small plate Repeat with each vegetable.

Arrange the green beans, cauliflower, and carrots in separate mounds on the greens, leaving room to add the tomatoes and tofu. Arrange those on the greens as well, between the cooked vegetables.

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until completely combined.

To serve, let everyone scoop the vegetables, tofu, and greens onto individual plates, then pass around the dressing for everyone to use as desired.

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