Baked Panko Pesto Tofu Recipe:
(lacto-vegetarian, egg-free, sattvic)
This was my very first experiment with panko – having only recently discovered it when I was served panko crusted tofu and I was amazed at how it changed the experience of tofu completely by giving it a crispy, crunchy coating. I also had a jar of sattvic pesto to use up – and so the idea came to combine them. I think the dish I had had was deep fried, but it works out perfectly this way. It is really difficult for me to feel good about pouring a half inch of oil into a frying pan…
1 box of tofu, drained
1/2 cup of basil pesto (can be handmade or store-bought)
1 cup of panko
salt to taste
1/4 cup of white flour
3 T eggless mayonnaise
salt to taste
3/4 cup of water
Cut the tofu into 12 slices. Place in baking sheet lined with clean kitchen towels under and over the tofu. Put a heavier pan on top and leave the tofu to sit a few minutes, in order to press out excess liquid.
Meanwhile, combine the pesto, panko and salt in a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together white flour, mayonnaise and water. Add salt to taste.
Dip tofu in the flour mixture and then coat with pesto and panko. Place on an oiled baking tray, and bake on the upper shelf of the oven at 450 degree until crispy and golden.
Mozzarella Ratatouille Casserole:
This is not a classical ratatouille, but rather an improvisation on the theme… a celebration of summer vegetables, even better if they are all fresh from a farm stand or CSA ;-). Hard to go wrong…
The melted mozzarella topping adds to an already luscious dish. The week before, I had eaten an excess of pastas, pizzas etd – so this was a lower-carb, healthier variation on that theme..
1 yellow summer squash, sliced in rounds
1 red sweet pepper, chopped in large chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
1 small eggplant, sliced in rounds
5 roma tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
6 large basil leaves
2 T olive oil
1/4 t asafoetida
salt and pepper
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1/4 lb mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 450. While putting a small pot of water on to boil, prepare the vegetables. Scald the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute and then place in cold water so the skin will slip off easily. Heat a skillet with 2 T olive oil. When the oil is warm, add red pepper flakes and asafoetida and allow it to sizzle, then add the peppers and eggplant. Add salt – approximately a teaspoon. Allow the eggplant and peppers to brown. then add the carrots and squash and cover, lowering the heat and allowing the to steam. When the vegetables are soft, add the tomatoes and sauce. Adjust salt to taste. Then transfer the mixture into a glass casserole dish and top with mozzarella. Bake for about 20 minutes – until the cheese has melted and everything is bubbling.