I trust Mark Bittman's cookbooks like my grandmother trusted Better Homes and Gardens. I stumbled across his How to Cook Everything at a used book sale years ago, and I have since acquired How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6.
Having been a vegetarian (mostly) for decades, I thought I had tried everything with tofu - from pressing, marinating and baking to blending into smoothies and desserts. But Bittman's recipe for "tofu croutons" (HtCEV) amazed me. It's so simple, requiring just five minutes preparation followed by an hour of passive baking. It's versatile - a good pop of protein in salads, soup, or noodles, or by themselves as a snack. And even my omnivore husband thinks these taste like chicken.
This simple salad had some great ingredients: tender lettuce, crunchy cukes, and sweet cherry tomatoes from our CSA from the Family Garden Farm. The sprinkle of savory pecans and that handful of warm tofu croutons made it a truly satisfying meal.
- One package extra firm tofu
- 1-2 T olive oil
- A sprinkle of salt.
Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and pat dry. Toss with olive oil and and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, turning once halfway through baking.
The savory pecans:
- 2 T melted butter
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- a very light sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce if you have it
Place on parchment covered baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Cool before storing.