My apartment has a serious problem: too many recipe books. They take over a corner of my kitchen and an entire bookshelf in my living room, and gather dust in a box in my bedroom. But every once in a while, I actually crack open one of those bad boys and find a winner of a recipe.
Last week the cookbook was Fresh & Fast Vegetarian by Marie Simmons. Her pan-seared tofu with eggplant and curried tomato-mint sauce stood out, not only because eggplants are in season, but also because the recipe only takes about 30 minutes to cook. Plus tofu is a great protein replacement for meat. Don’t like tofu? Simmons says the recipe is still delicious without it.
Nutrition per serving: 245 calories, 17.7 grams fat, 354.4 milligrams sodium, 15.2 grams carbohydrates, 5.9 grams fiber, 9 grams protein.
1 (16-ounce) block medium or firm tofu
1 (28-ounce) can diced or whole peeled tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon grated or peeled fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 12 slices (about ½ inch thick)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1) Place a large, heavy baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
2) Slice block of tofu into four ¾-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on a folded dish towel. Cover with a second towel and press down gently but firmly for about 30 seconds to remove excess moisture.
3) Purée tomatoes using a food processor. Add purée to a large skillet and bring to a boil.
4) Add ½ cup water, curry powder, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of mint.
5) While sauce is coking, lightly brush eggplant slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons of oil. Carefully remove baking sheet from oven and arrange eggplant slices in a single layer. Return pan to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Turn eggplant and roast the other side until lightly browned and tender.
6) Heat a large skillet over medium heat until it’s hot enough to evaporate a drop of water. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add tofu and sear until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.
7) Add roasted eggplant and tofu to sauce. Cook, covered, on low heat for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mint and serve over a bed of quinoa or bulgur.