Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program – Marzetti Simply Dressed
Hooray! My first item I was lucky enough to try out for the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program! I had the opportunity to choose which Marzetti Simply Dressed item I would like to try out. I will admit this was a tough call! They had so many delicious choices but Sesame Ginger definitely won. I first had to think of what recipe I would like to create; appetizer, salad, wrap?? I decided to go a whole different route and make an all out dinner! I was a bit concerned because I have made dishes with salad dressings before (c’mon, we have all cheated and used salad dressing to make pasta salad..admit it!) and they always have that weird tang that screams “Yes – I confess, I used salad dressing!” I will admit I was absolutely pleased with how my dish turned out. So much so that I also turned it into an appetizer too!
My inspiration for my dish was actually from a dish I made in school as one of my final projects. The flavor was so unbelievably powerful yet not overwhelming and I have craved it ever since, this was about 3 years ago! My challenge for recreating this dish was to bring down the ingredient list a bit and try to replace it with the salad dressing. This is what I came up with;
Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles with Tofu Skewers
- 1 jar Marzetti Simply Dressed Sesame Ginger
- 1 package extra firm tofu
- 1 zucchini, cut into small discs
- 1 yellow squash, cut into small discs
- 1 package soba noodles
- 1 bunch of scallions, greens diced up thin, white part cut into chunks
- 1 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds, toasted
- Optional Garnish – carrot, red pepper, pea pods cut into thin julienne
First, cube up the tofu carefully to not tear and marinate in 1/2 of the jar of Sesame Ginger Dressing for at least 3 hours (the longer the better). Soak a few wooden skewers and cut in half for smaller skewers. To assemble skewers, string on a cube of tofu, red pepper, scallion (white portion), tofu, yellow squash. Set aside.
Prepare soba noodles according to directions on package. Rinse to cool and set aside.
To make sauce – Heat up 1 cup of vegetable oil until hot but not bubbling. Add cayenne and red pepper flakes to sort of ”deep fry” seasonings to bring out an intense flavor. Add brown sugar and mix well to melt. Remove from heat. In a mixing bowl add remaining half of Sesame Ginger Dressing, soy sauce, green parts of scallions, rice wine vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. Once oil mixture cools a bit, whisk into soy sauce mixture.
On a grill or griddle sear off tofu skewers. Make sure to grease up your grill beforehand so tofu doesn’t stick. I used non-stick spray. Cook until vegetables have a nice char. Be sure to keep brushing the Sesame Ginger Dressing on each turn of the skewer.
Toss soba noodles in prepared dressing mixture. Coat noodles well. With a fork spin the noodles to form a ‘nest’. Place in the middle of a plate. Top the noodles with the optional garnish (also tossed in dressing mixture) and top the garnish with a skewer or two. Feel free to drizzle the irresistible dressing on top!
I just bought ceramic spoons so I felt this was a great time to use them! So I also turned it into an appetizer
Thank you Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program for letting me have the opportunity to work with Marzetti Simply Dressed!