Baked Lemon Tofu with Gorgeous Green Pesto

Serves: 2-4

Total time: 2 ½ hours (includes marinating and baking)
Total active time: 20 minutes

If you still shudder when you think about eating tofu I think it’s time to treat yourself to this ultra fresh, filling, slightly addictive, stupidly affordable and delicious plant-based dinner (or lunch, or breakfast…you’ll see).

When it comes to making yummy tofu, there are a few things to keep in mind…
1) buy organic tofu whenever possible (I forego soy products on the weeks I can’t afford organic)
2) always press your tofu before marinating to remove excess water- I have a tofu press because I am fancy but a stack of cookbooks on top of a plate on top of the tofu will do perfectly fine. Pressing the water out allows for the perfect uptake of whatever marinade you are using and a yummier meal!
3) double or triple the recipe because you will want extra to slice on top of your lunch salad, or roll in your rice paper or tortilla wrap just to name a few way to use all week (endless possibilities for leftover baked tofu…endless).


Ingredients: Tofu 

  • 1 block firm tofu (organic whenever possible) 

Ingredients: Tofu marinade
(make ahead of time- will keep for up to two weeks in a mason jar- shake well)

  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon (approximately 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion or garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave, honey or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Ingredients: Gorgeous Green Pesto
(make ahead of time- it will keep for a week in a mason jar- colour may fade slightly)

  • 1 packed cup curly parsley
  • 1 packed cup Italian parsley
  • 1 packed cup cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons capers (drained)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios or walnuts (optional but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Note: This is the kind of sauce that changes something considered ordinary into something extraordinary. Make extra. Use on pasta, vegetables, potatoes, toast, fresh tomato slices…anything!


Directions:

Place tofu in a press or under a stack of cookbooks on top of a plate on top of the tofu for at least half an hour to remove as much water as possible. Slice block into 10 slices and place in a flat dish for marinating.

Combine all ingredients for marinade in a small bowl, whisk together and pour over tofu. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and a maximum of 8.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and prepare pesto.

Place all ingredients for green sauce in food processor fitted with a steel blade and run until smooth yet still has character, pausing to scrape down sides when needed.

When ready to bake tofu, remove from marinade (save it and marinate some more!). Place tofu on a baking sheet (I line with parchment for easy clean up and it doesn’t stick). Tofu will bake for 35-40 minutes. Flip at least once.

When ready to serve line a flat bowl with chopped raw spinach, kale or chard (or all three)…squeeze fresh lemon over greens and a sprinkle of sea salt (hot pepper flakes if you like heat…very much called for here if it’s your thing). A ring of sliced cherry tomatoes around the edge is a colourful addition. You could also use steamed broccoli or cauliflower. Top greens with three slices of tofu and top each of them with a spoonful of pesto. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Tasty tip: This dish is mostly raw. If you would prefer to sauté a combination of greens with sea salt and lemon as the base that would be really good. As with most of my recipes I encourage you to use this as a template and to create your own combinations.