Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stuffed Tofu and Roasted Cauliflower

stuffed tofu

This meal was nearly impossible to photograph. Too much pale food at too many unphotogenic angles. But, dear readers, I bring this to you anyway because it was freakin' delicious.

Have you ever roasted cauliflower before? I hadn't. But I had a dormant longing for it, all because of the food court at the Cornwall Mall. Stay with me here. Sometimes, I have to drive to Cornwall for work and, since it is a few hours away, I get to put in an expense claim for my lunch. The problem is, Cornwall is not the kind of place where one can easily dig up a vegetarian meal. After a few visits culminated in greasy veggie burgers at the Harvey's next to the Walmart, a coworker tipped me off to a Lebanese place in the food court at the mall. They have a "vegetarian platter" (read: styrofoam plate) piled high with veggies, hummus, falafel, salad, pita bread, and the most delicious roasted cauliflower I have ever eaten in my life. Cauliflower! Who knew?

It is a pretty dire time for vegetables here in Ontario. At the grocery store even local winter standbys like squash and parsnips seem to be imported these days. If I want a local meal I'm pretty much eating mushrooms and garlic exclusively. And even the imported vegetables aren't looking so hot. Greens are wilty, tomatoes are pale, peppers are wrinkled. I was in the vegetable aisle feeling forlorn the other day and I spotted a passable head of cauliflower. When I got it home I roasted it using a modified recipe from Foodland Ontario (how I love you, Foodland Ontario!) and it became the perfect side dish for some stuffed tofu. It was just as delicious as the food court version and, thankfully, could be eaten without a trip to Cornwall.


Roasted Cauliflower

1 medium sized cauliflower
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop/break cauliflower into relatively bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.

Add other ingredients and toss to coat.

Spread cauliflower pieces on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about half an hour or until they start to brown.

Stuffed Tofu

1 block of medium firm tofu
1 bunch of chard or other greens, chopped up small
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Press water out of tofu by sandwiching it between two plates and putting something heavy on top. When I was in university I always used my Riverside Shakespeare text for this purpose. In this case, a glass jar full of rice worked just as well.

While tofu is pressing, saute greens, onion, and garlic in 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When greens have wilted and darkened, add lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Cut pressed tofu into rectangles and cut these in half lengthwise, almost all the way. Leave one side un-cut.

Fill middles of tofu rectangles with chard mixture. Stuff as much as you can in there without breaking it.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and sesame oil over medium high heat in a frying pan. Pan fry stuffed tofu rectangles until each side has browned. I'd do this one rectangle at a time, unless you're fancy.

Some Notes

-I sprinkled some tamari on the tofu after I finished pan frying it. This tofu is not marinated like I would normally make it, but the chard and cauliflower were both really flavourful so it balanced out. 

-If I was on Top Chef they'd tell me I should have added something crunchy to balance out the soft texture of the rest of my foods.

-Since you brought it up... I am so glad that Leah was ousted from Top Chef this week. She bugged me more than any of the others with her whining and moping. She just never seemed enthusiastic about cooking at all. I'd like Carla to win, just because I like her attitude, but I think Stefan will probably take it.



HayMarket8 said...

I love it! I am totally going to try this!

Lesley said...

Remember Soy not Oi! zine?

There's a similar recipe for cauliflower in it, but they fry it. It turns out pretty greasy, I think I'll try your way next time.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Yum! What a delicious meal. I actually just had roasted cauliflower for the first time last weekend and I loved it. I was at a friends house and made an absolute glutton out of myself. I eat cauliflower regularly but never, ever roasted so I was shocked at how amazingly different it tasted.

Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Anonymous said...

I freaking love this blog! Roasted broccoli is just as delicious, by the way.

allularpunk said...

i lurve stuffed tofu. i've never roasted cauliflower (it's not my favorite veggie...), but i might have to give it a try if it's so delicious. also, i too am glad that leah is gone. blegh, she sucked.

Jo Stockton said...

Lesley- I never had any luck with that cookbook! Maybe I just tried the wrong recipies.

And... oooooh, roasted broccoli! I need to try that one.