I was vegetarian for twelve years, and vegan for 5 of those years, though you could probably never tell based on recent 2 cooks entries. Here is a tip o’ the hat to my vegetarian past and still vegetarian-food loving present. It’s also a perfect holiday meal if you are looking for something to serve on any of the remaining winter holidays and great for an easy, and impressive, potluck dish. The baked tofu has become famous among my co-workers.
First, the relish. This is easiest if you have a food processor or blended that can handle chopping solid things. If not, you could, conceivably chop the oranges and cranberries by hand, but it would be very messy. This recipe has been in my family for years and is a welcome accompaniment at any holiday meal (especially those involving Turkey or Tofurkey).
Cranberry Orange Relish
6 ripe oranges
1—2 cups cranberries (more if you like it really tart! I’m from New England, so of course I love cranberries)
Sugar to taste (we prefer natural sugar like Florida Crystals or Sugar in the Raw)
Cut the oranges into wedges and throw half of them in the food processor. Pulse a few times to chop them up. Add half a cup of cranberries, the juice of one lemon wedge and half a lemon’s worth of zest. Add several tablespoons of sugar. Pulse until coarsely chopped and well mixed. Taste. Add more cranberries or sugar to taste.
Repeat with the other half of the ingredients. Mix them together and store in a glass jar or covered bowl in the fridge overnight to marinate. Serve at room temperature.
Lemon Baked Tofu
2 Lbs. (2 blocks) firm tofu
Juice of 2—4 Lemons
1 TBS. Balsamic vinegar
3—5 cloves of garlic, crushed
Herbs de Provence
Salt and Pepper to taste
The best part of this recipe is its flexibility. If you are thinking ahead you can marinate the tofu in the dressing overnight. If you don’t have time, just mix it and bake it. It’s good either way. I like Herbs de Provence, but if you don’t have them, you can use whatever fresh or dried herbs you like. Tarragon is nice, as is Thyme, Sage and Rosemary.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.
Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of a large glass or metal baking pan
Cut the tofu into large rectangles or squares and place in the pan
In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
Drizzle over the tofu and turn the slices over so they are well covered.
Bake about 45 minutes covered in tin foil and 15 minutes uncovered or until golden brown and baked looking.
Serve with Cranberry Orange Relish on the side.
Happy holidays, or at least, holiday-style eating all year ‘round!