Brined Herb Tofu

Tofu, I know, isn’t everyone’s go-to, but this briny, tangy tofu makes a perfect sandwich filling. The tofu is reminiscent of feta with that salty, brininess to it, and it’s made for layering it in crusty bread (say, with roasted red peppers and red onions, grilled portabello slices, black olive tapenade, and baby spinach) for a summery sandwich full of flavor. It’s pictured here with my recipe for Yellow Mustard with Smoked Paprika.

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Brined Herb Tofu

1 pound (454g) extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch slabs
2 1/2 cups (560mL) water
1/2 cup (120mL) white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup (80mL) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15mL) dried basil
1 tablespoon (15mL) dried oregano
2 teaspoons (10mL) fine sea or Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon (5mL) yellow miso paste

Wrap the tofu in paper towels. Top with a heavy pan for 30 minutes, replacing the paper towels once, to remove all excess moisture.

Meanwhile, put the water, vinegar, lemon juice, basil, oregano, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer 25 minutes. Stir in the miso paste.

Put the pressed tofu in a container. Pour the brine over the tofu, submerging completely. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours. The tofu will become more flavorful as it sits in the brine. Use within 5 days.

homemade mustard and brined tofu1

 

Roasted Asparagus with Pickled Onions

These pickled onions are delicious with the roasted asparagus, but consider saving the leftovers for atop your favorite veggie burger—the best excuse to fire up the grill.

asparagus with onions

Roasted Asparagus with Pickled Onions

For the onions:
2 cups (480mL) cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60mL) unrefined cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (8mL) fine sea salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

For the asparagus:
1 pound (454g/16oz) asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons (30mL) mild extra-virgin olive oil
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the cider vinegar, sugar, and salt in a glass bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Add the red onion, making sure it is completely covered. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Before serving, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan mid-way, until tender crisp and browned. Serve warm with the pickled onions.