Grilled Corn and Tomatoes with Vegan Tonnato Sauce

"I have a huge affinity for Italian cooking," says Sean Baker. "I just love tonnato [tuna] sauce and wanted vegans to feel the same way about it as I did." To evoke the briny flavor of tuna, Baker adds a variety of seaweeds to a puree of tofu and olive oil. More Vegan Dishes

Total Time:
45 mins
6 1-course servings


Tonnato Sauce

  • 2 loose tablespoons dried wakame seaweed

  • Boiling water

  • 1/4 cup silken tofu (about 3 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon yellow miso paste

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (see Note)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 ears of corn, shucked

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

  • 6 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • One 8-inch square sheet of nori seaweed, finely shredded


  1. In a small heatproof bowl, soak the wakame in the boiling water until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and press out any excess water; pat dry. Transfer the wakame to a mini food processor and add the tofu, capers, garlic, miso, mustard, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Process to a paste. Add the olive oil and process until fairly smooth; the wakame won't break down completely. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

  2. Light a grill. Brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning, until tender and lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs into a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and basil and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Spread the sauce on plates and top with the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the corn salad over the tomatoes and garnish with the shredded nori.

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


Nutritional yeast is available at well-stocked specialty and natural food stores.

Suggested Pairing

Beer Light lager-style beers, like pilsners, make great food accompaniments because they're subtly hoppy and incredibly refreshing; they're especially good with summery salads like this one. Try Pennsylvania's Victory Prima Pils. When it comes to wine, a rich Chardonnay is terrific with sweet corn.

Pairing Note Not all wines and beers are vegan (that is, made without using products such as gelatin). For details, contact the producers directly.

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