January 10, 2011

Tofu Florentine with "Cheesy" Sauce

I wish I could take credit for this wonderful creation, but the kudos fall to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her fabulous cookbook, Veganomicon, which I found super-cheap at Half Price Books just this past weekend! This particular creation is actually a merging of two separate recipes in the book, culled together to make a delicious brunch dish. It was so tasty and warming, with just a hint of lemon piquant. I really enjoyed it! Try it out for yourself and see what you think...

1 pound spinach (about 2 bunches), washed well and stems trimmed
1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu
Spray of olive oil, or a scant teaspoon for oiling pan
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 chopped tomato, for garnish
  • Preheat oven to broil.
  • Cut tofu into triangles, like so: Slice widthwise into four equal slices. Cut each of those slices in half, widthwise, so that you have eight squares. Lastly, cut each of those squares in half diagonally to make sixteen triangles.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the braising sauce together in a small bowl.
  • When the broiler is good and hot, spray a thing layer of olive oil on the bottom of an oven-safe pan or small rimmed baking sheet. If you don't have a spray bottle of oil, then just use a paper towel to spread a very thin coating of oil in the pan. 
  • Dip each piece of tofu in the braising liquid and place in the pan. Put the pan in the broiler and cook for about 10 minutes, until the tofu is lightly browned. Remove the pan and pour a few spoonfuls of braising liquid over the tofu (no need to turn it). Put back in the oven for 3 more minutes, then repeat with the remaining braising liquid. Cook for about 3 more minutes - at this point tofu should be golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  • While the tofu is broiling for the first 10 minutes, prepare the spinach: Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. While the spinach is still wet from being washed, add half to the pan. The extra moisture helps steam the spinach. Use tongs to toss it around. Once it is wilted, add another batch of spinach. After all the spinach is cooked, cover to keep warm.
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil (*I left this out and used water to saute instead.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several pinches ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • Combine the broth and flour in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork until dissolved.
  • Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the oil (*or water) in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't, turn the heat a bit higher.
  • Once the mixture is bubbling and thickening, stir and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and mustard. The mixture should resemble a thick, melty cheese. 
Lay the tofu triangles side by side, in an alternating pattern (That's my idea! I just thought it was cute.) Cover with a half cup of spinach, or more if you like. Drizzle cheesy sauce, to taste. Top with tomatoes. Enjoy!


aimee said...

Yum! This looks delicious. I like you cheezy sauce!

Raw_Girl said...

I am really digging the way you made your tofu. What is nutritional yeast used for here?

Jennifer M. said...

It's in the "cheesy" sauce. Yum.

Julia said...

That looks really good!

4 Life said...

Tofu FLoretine looks awesome! I'm gonna try this recipe - thakns for sharing!