A Foolproof Recipe for Baked Mediterranean Tofu

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In case you haven’t noticed, the unofficial start of summer (i.e. Memorial Day Weekend) is just one week away. Although I’m not one for diets, and although I might have scarfed down roughly three bags of late night junk food last night (Doritos roulette; SO hot now), I have nevertheless been making a (mostly) conscious effort to eat mindfully. Over the last few Sundays, I’ve been experimenting with different types of tofu to ensure that I get a healthful dose of protein with my dinner greens. After a few burnt batches, and others that were devoid of much flavor, I think I’ve finally nailed down a tasty dish. It goes great with a salad, a brown-rice based bowl, or with a side of sautéed veggies. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

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(Welcome to my kitchen – my happy place on a Sunday evening as the sun sets to the west.)

What you need:

1 package of extra firm tofu

2 garlic cloves

1 lemon

Fresh dill

Dried oregano

Extra virgin olive oil

Sesame oil

Balsamic vinegar

Honey

Sesame seeds

Kosher salt

Black pepper

What to do:

1. Drain your tofu, and cut the brick into small squares. Aim for approximately 1 inch by 1 inch. Pat your tofu down, sucking the moisture from each of the cubes. Then, when you think you’ve gotten all the moisture out, pat them down again. And again. Tofu sucks in a whole lot of water, and to get the crispy exterior you want later, you’ll need to make sure that your squares are as dry as the Sahara.

2. Add your tofu to a nice sized mixing bowl, and toss in your chopped garlic, chopped dill (approx. 1 tbsp), oregano (approx. 2 tsp), sesame seeds (approx.  1 tsp), kosher salt (to taste; I like about 2 generous pinches), and black pepper (to taste). I’ve been using dill from my home garden.

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3. Top this off with the juice of 1 lemon, 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and 1 and a half tablespoons of honey.

4. Gently combine all your ingredients so that your tofu squares are covered. Then let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, allowing the flavors to marinate.

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5. To bake, spread your tofu squares onto a tray, making sure there is no overlap. I like to use non-stick aluminum foil to minimize the mess later on.

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6. Heat your oven to 425 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes or until your tofu squares are golden brown. Turn your cubes every 5-10 minutes to ensure they cook evenly.

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That’s it! I served mine with a salad of spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and avocado dressed with olive oil and lemon.

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And all leftovers fit perfectly into a mason jar for lunch the next day. Easy peasy!

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Your turn! What are your go-to dishes for summer evenings? Do you have any secrets to cooking tofu?