Pre-Heat oven to 425f
Then make the Pesto:
2-3 cups fresh mint, stems included, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for smoother pesto
1 medium lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup cilantro, leaves and stems
Pinches salt & pepper, to taste
Put everything in a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Prep the Tofu:
Drain tofu block and press between a clean dish towel or paper towels. Then slice into 4 even bricks. Press again to remove more moisture.
Cut into cubes.
In a cast iron skilled over medium high heat, melt one tablespoon of coconut oil or cooking oil of choice. Let the cast iron get really hot then add in to tofu. You want it to sizzle when added. Thats how you will get a crispy exterior and soft interior.
Toss the tofu a couple times for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown on most sides.
Remove, place in a bowl and mix with 1/4 the mint pesto. Toss to coat. then transfer to a baking/cookie sheet. Spread out the tofu and put in the oven for 7-8 minuts. Then toss and roast again for another 7-10 minutes.
Then turn off the oven but let the tofu hang out in there while you finish prepping the salad ingredients. This will help remove more moisture from the tofu so its a nice texture in the salad.
Make the dressing:
combine all ingredients in a bowl or container and whisk vigorously to combine. Season with salt and more lime juice to taste. Adding more vinegar if necessary.
Prep the cabbage:
thinly slice the green and red cabbage then add to a large bowl. Ideally you want a 4:1 ration of green to red. In my opinion thats the best for texture and taste. Add in half the cilantro and 3/4 the dressing reserving the rest. toss to coat and let it marinate in the fridge while you prep the other ingredients.
Prep other salad ingredients:
grate the carrots, julliene the red bell pepper, defrost the edamame or shell if necessary, chop the green onion, peel cucumber, cube the avocado. Squeeze with lime juice and salt if you want. I did. just adds to the overall flavor at the end but totes optional.
Toast the cashews:
in the cast iron used for the tofu whip down with a paper towel and then heat up over medium high heat. NO OIL - you want it dry. Then add in the cashews and toast for 3-4 minutes turning every so often to brown on all sides. Then remove, let cool and roughly chop.
Remove the tofu from the over and let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to cool. Then toss with most of the remaining mint pesto.
You might have some left over pesto which is SOO GOOD on avocado toast so if theres extra save it. Its also great with rice bowls, noodle bowls or with roasted veggies.
Make the Salad:
layer the ingredients on top of the marainated cabbage. All the veggies, then the tofu, avocado, crushed walnuts, green onion, extra cilantro, lime slices and the remaining dressing.
serve and enjoy!