Welcome to another Meatless Monday installment. Sorry, folks, but I had to include at least one main dish with tofu. I happen to like the stuff when it’s cooked right, but I do know a lot of tofu-haters. All I ask is that you give it another shot.
This recipe hails from The Grit Restaurant Cookbook. If you ever make it to Athens, Georgia, don’t miss eating at The Grit. I’ve taken many carnivores there, and they’ve been pleasantly surprised with the menu and their vegetarian dishes (they didn’t order anything with tofu though). The restaurant also serves up a fair share of vegan entrees. I personally love the Golden Bowl, which is laden with the best tofu ever, veggies, and brown rice. I’ve never met a chunk of Grit-style tofu I didn’t like.
Without further ado, here’s The Grit’s recipe for Tofu Parmesan:
3 15-ounce blocks of firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (I usually splurge and use freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 generous teaspoon dried, plus more for garnish
2-1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups marinara sauce (The Grit has its own marinara recipe that it recommends using, but I just use store-bought sauce to save time.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh or dried oregano for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan or glass casserole dish.
Tear tofu by hand into chunks of various sizes (this is a fun job for kids). Add a thin layer of olive oil to a nonstick skillet and place over high heat. Cover bottom of pan with tofu chunks and saute, tossing often and sprinkling with soy sauce, until tofu is very firm and somewhat crispy. Set aside. Repeat with another batch of tofu until all tofu is cooked in this manner. Drain if necessary and cool slightly. Place in a bowl with beaten eggs and toss together.
Blend 1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Add to tofu, and toss together.
Pour 2 cups marinara into prepared pan and spread evenly. Distribute tofu over sauce. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tofu breading is very well browned. Remove from oven, and spread top with 2 cups of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese, parsley, and oregano. Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more until top is well browned.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.