A few months ago I whipped up a balsamic dressing so good, it made cabbage sexy.
Okay, okay, so maybe my cabbage didn’t turn out to be Bradley Cooper or Ryan Gosling, but you know what I mean – it turned something drab and boring into a dish that’s pretty exciting (to my tastebuds, at least).
I figured, if it can help cabbage (cabbage!), then it can also probably sexify one of the most bland things in the world: tofu.
Of course, if you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you know that I consider tofu as anything but bland. I called it the little black dress of proteins, for goodness’ sake! It’s very versatile, easy to prepare, and really one of my favorite things to eat.
I saw a recipe on Kalyn’s Kitchen for baked tofu, which was inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe. I followed the cooking instructions but used the same balsamic glaze I made for my roasted red cabbage. To punch up the flavors a little bit more, instead of just plain extra virgin olive oil, I used a flavored olive oil (Herbs de Provence from Boston Olive Oil & Co.), and instead of regular red pepper flakes, I used bird’s eye chili flakes.
Baked Tofu with Balsamic Glaze
1 block extra firm tofu
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence infused olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of bird’s eye chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped scallions, for garnish
Preheat oven t 350 F.
Slice tofu into six even slabs, then blot with a paper towel to get as much liquid out.
Whisk all the glaze ingredients together, then use a pastry brush to brush both sides of the tofu generously with the mixture. Let the tofu marinate for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a non-stick baking sheet that has been brushed or sprayed with olive oil. Bake tofu for an hour, basting with the balsamic glaze every 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped scallions for garnish. Serve with your favorite veggie and some healthy grains for a well-balanced meal.
I served the baked tofu with roasted asparagus and brown rice, and it made for a fantastic dinner. The leftovers were pretty good the next day, too.
If you like tofu, you might want to try my other tofu recipes like tofu salad, spicy barbecue tofu nuggets, and green beans, butternut squash, and tofu in coconut milk.
And if you ever need a glaze or a dressing for protein or veggies, try this sweet and spicy balsamic mixture. I’m thinking of naming it as the Ryan Gosling Glaze. (Maybe someday it’ll save a life too.)