Spicy Balsamic Tofu Wrap: A Faux Summer Dish

 

balsamic-tofu-spicy

I have spring fever. 

I don’t mean that it’s so nice and warm out that all I want to do is go outside and play, though that would be nice.  No, I mean, it’s going to snow tomorrow and that makes me want to scream a bit.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love snow  and winter just as much as anyone!  When fall starts to hit, I essentially parade for comfort dishes, celebrate sweaters and favor my extensive love of bread and all things pumpkin and cranberry.  But, ever since I moved out to farm country (exaggeration relative to where I used to live)  I cannot get enough of spring and summer.   The pool doesn’t help my spring fever either as it’s just sitting there all icy and cold and annoying.   

 I was craving a creamy soup or some hearty hot dish full of rich dreamy flavors yet I’m swooning over the idea of a simple caprese salad or a light grilled summer vegetable sandwich.  

The weather is confusing my taste buds.   This is a result of that.  It’s a faux summer dish.  

 

spicy-balsamic-tofu

 

It has hearty salad greens, roasted red bell peppers that I jarred from our patio garden last summer, tofu that’s marinated in sweet balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, dried basil and a pinch of oregano.  I recently planted some scrap scallions (where you just drop the part you would throw out into some water and watch it grow) on my windowsill and they’ve thrived nicely, so I finished it with those just to add some freshness, considering I can’t find any fresh basil that doesn’t taste like yuck at the moment.   I also added a light dusting of freshly grated parmesan and a few toasted pine nuts to add some crunch and richness, but you could easily leave out the parmesan to make it vegan.

It worked very nicely in balance and didn’t lack in flavor: tangy, spicy and sweetly savory, which as you know I absolutely adore.  It was also ready in only twenty minutes and packed a hearty punch of winter while delivering a light freshness of summer.  It was exactly what I wanted.  You can eat this warm or cold, as a wrap or unwrapped.  Your choice.  

Spicy Balsamic Tofu Wrap: A Faux Summer Dish

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, frozen then thawed.
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted (jarred is fine for off-season)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • sweet aged balsamic vinegar and oil, approximately equal parts, shaken or whisked together (enough to coat all tofu pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (half that for a less spicy dish)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan, scallions and toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
  • Hearty salad greens (your favorite) 

 

Wrap the brick of tofu in paper towels and place on a heavy plate.  Place another heavy plate on top of the tofu and microwave for about three minutes on high, or until it reaches desired consistency.    Meanwhile, dice onion and mince garlic; slice the pepper into long strips.    Unwrap tofu and slice into cubes once cool enough to handle. 

Whisk together remaining ingredients  for a marinade and drop the tofu into the marinade.  Drop tofu and marinade in a ziplock bag, zip partially and squeeze out as much air as possible before zipping completely closed.  Massage tofu to cover all surfaces and infuse flavor. 

 In a large nonstick pan over medium low heat, add onions, garlic, red peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover pan until soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally, or about ten minutes.  Add tofu with marinade and saute uncovered until hot and the balsamic reduces enough to lightly coat the vegetables and tofu.  Remove from heat and lightly dust with freshly grated parmesan, pine nuts and scallions for garnish.  Toss over fresh greens and douse with more balsamic and oil if desired. 

Serve warm or cold as a salad or wrap.     

 

Spicy Balsamic Tofu Wrap: A Faux Summer Dish
 
A fast and easy "faux summer" vegetarian dish.
Kate from Scratch:
Recipe type: Fast, simple, vegetarian, vegan, lunch
Cuisine: vegan, Italian, vegetarian, American
Ingredients
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, frozen then thawed.
  • 1 small onion
  • three cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted (jarred is fine for off season)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • sweet aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin oil -approximately equal parts shaken or whisked together (about a ⅓ cup or enough to coat all tofu pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan, pine nuts and scallions for garnish- optional
  • Hearty salad greens (your favorite)
Instructions
  1. Wrap the brick of tofu in paper towels and place on a heavy plate. Place another heavy plate on top of the tofu and microwave for about three minutes on high, or until desired consistency is reached. Meanwhile, dice onion and mince garlic; slice the pepper into long strips. Unwrap tofu and slice into cubes once cool enough to handle.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients for a marinade and drop the tofu into the marinade. Drop tofu and marinade in a ziplock bag, zip partially and squeeze to remove as much air as possible, then zip completely. Massage tofu to make sure all surfaces are covered.
  3. While tofu is marinating: In a large nonstick pan over medium low heat, add onions, garlic, red peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover pan until soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally, or about ten minutes. Add tofu with marinade and sautee uncovered until hot.
  4. Top with scallions and/or parmesan and pine nuts for garnish.
  5. Serve warm or cold as a salad or wrap.

11 thoughts on “Spicy Balsamic Tofu Wrap: A Faux Summer Dish

  1. Made these last night, but didn’t have any pine nuts on hand. They were fast easy and delicious, regardless. Great recipe!

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