Baked Tofu with Ratatouille Vegetables

 
1 lb. firm tofu
2 cups green pepper, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced horizontally
2 cups red, orange, or yellow pepper, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced horizontally
2 cups onion, cut into half moons
3 T. olive oil, divided
2 cups zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch x 2-inch sticks
1 1/2 cups yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch x 2-inch sticks
4 t. garlic, minced, divided
1/2 cup white wine (or white grape juice or apple juice)
1/3 cup black olives, pitted, and each cut from end to end into 6 strips
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil, divided
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley, divided
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. tamari or soy sauce
 

Cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise, turn each half cut-side down on the board, and cut through the outer edge of the block of tofu 3 times to yield 4 tofu cutlets from each half. This means that the block of tofu will yield 8 tofu cutlets. On a large cookie sheet, place a clean, lint-free towel, or a layer of natural, unbleached paper towels, then all of the tofu cutlets in a single layer, followed by another layer of toweling, and finally place another large cookie sheet on top. Place several large cans or something very heavy on top of the cookie sheet and leave tofu to sit for 1 hour. This process is known as cutting tofu into cutlets and pressing. I use this technique a lot as it makes the texture of the tofu much firmer.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, saute both peppers and onion in 2 T. of the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, 1 T. of garlic, and saute an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the white wine, olives, half of the fresh herbs, salt, and 1/4 t. black pepper, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. While the vegetables are simmering, in a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, black pepper, and other remaining ingredients, stir well to blend, and set aside.

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread the sauteed vegetable mixture in the bottom of the pan. Place the pressed tofu in two rows over the top of the vegetables and pour the reserved red wine vinegar mixture over the tofu. Cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve 2 pieces of tofu per person with a generous portion of the ratatouille vegetables spooned over the top of the tofu.

Serves 4

 

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1999-2002  Beverly Lynn Bennett