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.
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!
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.