Cheezy Tofu

Eat with bread or cracker, or as filling for some veggies, or as a filling for dates, or in salads delicious mixed with seasonal tomatoes and basil!

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Among non vegetarians tofu often gets a bad wrap. I can understand why if you look at it from the perspective of the “normal” western taste. Westerners in general are not so enthusiastic about bland tastes, we like strong flavors and extremes: fat, sweet and salty. But due its modest and bland character, tofu is a very agreeable and willing to comply with the idiosyncrasies of our western taste. We can fit tofu into many different costumes and the “cheezy” costume is one that can be approached in several different ways. Why create the illusion of cheese? Well, one reason could be a desire to not eat animal products due to one or all of the many reasons out there: animal welfare, environment, allergy to dairy, avoidance of saturated fats, etc…. while at the same time having a cultural attachment to the texture, taste and feel of cheese; recognizing the need to eat foods which are not only good for us, but also fit with our traditional sense of what food means in a cultural and social context. To me part of the magic of cooking involves the fun of playing with wholesome traditional ingredients to achieve a desired taste and feeling which would make dishes fit into our own personal concept of what an enjoyable eating experience is, while maintaining personal and environmental good health.
To make dishes that excite you, you must learn to understand your characters(ingredients), and see their potential role in the drama of your cooking.Tofu may seem like a nondescript bystander, but why not see it as a white canvas, with all its possibilities?

1 package of tofu
2 tbs. olive oil
sea salt
1 tsp of miso or vitamix
1/4 pine nuts
extra olive oil

-crumble the tofu with your hands and then puree it with the hand blender
-add 2 tbs olive oil and salt and blend well
-add miso or vitamix, blend
-add the pine nuts, leaving a tbs for later
-blend again, but just for a second as to not to puree the pine nuts too much
-place mixture in a ceramic ovenproof dish, or in another oven dish
-drizzle the extra olive oil on top(about 1 tbs)
-put in the oven at 200*F for about 10 minutes, looking at it regularly so that it doesn’t burn.
-the last 2 minutes of baking sprinkle the left over pine nuts on top

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