The trick to tofu, I eventually find, is a really good sauce. That and staying true to recipes you love and will actually make.
Most days, people just want a fast and healthy meal. But mostly FAST. Keeping a freezer stocked with a variety of pre-cut vegetables, makes life so much easier. Think sliced peppers, peas, cauliflower, cut green beans, shelled edamame, diced zucchini and broccoli. Any of which will work in this recipe, by the way.
As much time as I spend cooking from scratch, I too keep staples in my pantry for time-saving shortcuts. In fact, if I were to take a snapshot right now, you would see jars of tomato sauces, pestos, curries and boxed broths that I can quickly doctor and add to anything.
If you don't own the exact size or shape dish that I recommend in this recipe, don't despair. I could probably host my own flea market with my collection of Le Creuset alone. But in this case, a small loaf pan or glass baking dish will work just as well. Simply trim your tofu layers to fit accordingly.
1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
2 heaping tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese + 1 tablespoon reserved
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
5 heaping tablespoons tomato sauce, jarred or homemade
1 tub of firm or extra firm organic tofu, drained
2 tomato slices
Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375ºF.
In a blender or food processor, puree the broccoli for just a few seconds until crumbly. Transfer to a bowl, add the parmesan and mix with half of the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Pour several tablespoons of sauce into the bottom of a 5x7 inch rectangular baking dish. Gently shake the pan back and forth to distribute the sauce into an even layer.
Using a cutting board, place the tofu block on its side and slicing lengthwise, section off two 1/4-inch thick rectangular portions. With a paper towel, gently press any liquid from each tofu slice. Then place one tofu slice into the bottom of the pan. If using a different size dish, it may be necessary to trim a bit off in order for it to fit. Spoon half of the broccoli mixture onto the tofu, spreading into an even layer. Cover with the second tofu slice, then layer on the last of the broccoli mixture. Top with the tomato slices. Pour any remaining sauce around the sides of the tofu. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
Yield: 1 individual serving