Tag Archives: capers

Tofu Piccata

Tofu piccata was on the menu tonight! Once again, we went searching in the great Internet space to find another recipe that used tofu and REB found a recipe featured in the Vegetarian Times. It was actually a recipe made with seitan, but we had tofu in our fridge (like we usually do) so we decided to use that. This recipe also called for soy margarine but we used real butter. You could absolutely use that though and make this entire meal vegan!

Back in the olden days when I ate meat, chicken piccata was a dish I ordered if it was on a menu at a restaurant. I have an absolutely love of capers. Any recipe that is vegetarian with capers will always get my vote. Why didn’t I think we should try making this with tofu? This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, too!

Here’s what you need:
•1/2 block of firm tofu (see below for preparation)
•All-purpose flour, for dredging
•Olive oil (4 tablespoons total, more or less)
•3 medium shallots, minced
•2 tablespoons capers, drained
•1/2 cup white wine (we used a dry Pinot Grigio)
•1/2 cup vegetable broth (I was hoping for low sodium, but they were out)
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
•2 tablespoons butter
•1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•Salt to taste (I doubt you’ll need any – see below)
•1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

We had a lot of leftover sauce since we only made half the tofu, but that’s OK. You can reduce any portion of the recipe if you want. I didn’t want to skimp on flavors though ;)

Start by standing up the tofu block and then cutting in half, length-wise. Store the other half for a future recipe. Then cut that half into half.
Take two pieces of paper towel, put a piece of tofu between them, and press. You want to drain as much liquid out of the tofu as possible. Plus, this will help thin the tofu so it will crisp up better. Once you’ve done that, cut each tofu in half, diagonally so you’ll end up with four tofu triangles total.

Put a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour on a plate, dredge the tofu and shake off the excess.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over high heat. Let the tofu cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once you’ve done this for all the pieces, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. We actually put them on some aluminum foil and put them into the oven to keep warm at 300°F.

This image shows one half that we cut into two more pieces

In the same pan, add more oil (about another 1 to 2 tablespoons) and heat up the shallots, garlic and capers and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes stirring frequently. Then whisk in the lemon juice and wine and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Whisk in the parsley, butter (you could use nonhydrogenated vegan margarine to make this vegan) and pepper. If we had low-sodium broth, I would say you might need to add 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt. However, since the capers and the broth are so salty, taste the sauce first and then use your judgment if you need more salt or not.

We served it up with some wild rice, poured the sauce over the tofu and nommed it up!

This was so delicious! Patting the tofu completely dry gave it a meatier texture. The capers were crisp and salty, and the wine and lemon together made for a wonderful fresh taste.

Now, I will say that I was a little conflicted about the amount of parsley. Ina Garten loves her parsley, but I think it’s kind of a garbage herb. For me, it’s used for garnish and sprinkling on a plate and not a main flavor of a dish. But even I can admit that when it warmed up, it did smell fresh. I probably would use less next time though.

Happy eating :)

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Tomato Bread Salad

I’m hanging on to every ounce of summer. I love fall, don’t get me wrong. It’s my favorite season, but there is one thing I absolutely love about the summer. I love eating fresh fruit and vegetables, but I especially love it in the summer time when you know it was grown fresh near you. So delicious.

REB and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in town, Zingerman’s Roadhouse and I had the most amazing salad there. They feature it on their summer menu each year, and each year we’ve gone, they’ve been sold out of it! So when I found out it wasn’t sold out, I had to have it! It was just as delicious as it sounded and was described to me. And it was light!

I recreated the dish after figuring out what ingredients they used (and what I could taste). I can in no way take credit for this dish, and I know it isn’t exact, but this variation was just as delicious. And the secret? Heirloom tomatoes!!

What you’ll need:
•3-4 heirloom tomatoes (I bought some orange, a huge red one, some green), cut into bite-size pieces
•1 Roma tomato, cut into bite-size pieces
•1/2 loaf sourdough bread (day or 2-day old is best), cut into 1-inch cubes
•1 cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (leave the skin on!)
•10-12 cherry mozzarella balls, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed (don’t get the kind in oil)
•10 basil leaves, chiffonade
•2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
•2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•S&P to taste

Preheat your oven to 300ºF.

What I found best was to let the bread sit for a day or two, then cut them into 1-inch pieces (you’ll only need about half the loaf). Place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, toss and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. I’m not sure if this is what Zingerman’s did, but I figured if it was fresh bread, it would just fall apart with the dressing. By toasting it lightly, it kept its shape and still sopped up the delicious dressing.

In a large salad bowl, add tomatoes, mozzarella and cucumber together. Add the capers, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, basil, and toss well. Add the bread in last, toss lightly. The heirloom tomatoes do it all for me. No, scratch that. The capers. I love capers. I could eat capers all day long, I love them so much. But the tomatoes are the star and they are so juicy and delicious.

Drizzle olive oil on top before serving and enjoy!