Mediterranean Pistachio Crusted Tofu

Note: This recipe is intended to be accompanied by Saffron Quinoa Pilaf.

Ingredients

Seasoned Tofu

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or your favorite, optional
  • 1 tablespoon water

Tahini Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 1 teaspoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water or more depending on consistency of tahini

Crust

  • ¾ cup roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley, basil or herb of your choosing
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mediterranean Vegetables

  • ¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped tomatoes (½ inch chop)
  • ½ cup finely chopped arugula or spinach
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced or shaved, and chopped fennel
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons chiffonade basil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375°F. Place the soy sauce, olive oil, if using, and water in a baking dish and stir well. Slice the tofu into 4 cutlets and place in the baking dish. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes, flipping periodically.
  2. While the seasoned tofu is soaking in its dish, prepare the tahini marinade by placing the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well. You are looking for a smooth spreadable consistency. Since the consistency of tahini varies greatly, you may need to add a bit more water to get a spreadable consistency.
  3. Place the baking dish containing the tofu, along with its seasoning liquid, in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. While the tofu is cooking, prepare the crust. Pulse chop the pistachio nuts in a food processor until they are coarse crumbs. Be careful not to over-process or it will turn into a paste. Transfer to a bowl with the remaining crust ingredients and mix well.
  4. Meanwhile, combine  the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently mix well. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Add to the topping and gently mix well.
  5. Remove the tofu from the oven and coat the top of the cutlets with tahini marinade, using a spoon. Liberally top the cutlets with the crust mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, slice the cutlets into triangles and top with the Mediterranean Vegetables. Serve over a bed of arugula and alongside the Saffron Quinoa Pilaf.

Variations

Here are some great variations for this dish:

  • You can replace the tofu with tempeh, portobello mushrooms, or eggplant or zucchini steaks.
  • All or a portion of the pistachio nuts can be replaced with macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, or  cashews. Try adding 3 tablespoons dried coconut to the crust mixture.
  • Experiment with your favorite spices and herbs.
  • Feel free to increase the quantity of fennel, olives, garlic or herbs, depending on your preferences.

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