July 24, 2012

Tofu Caprese

It's a challenge to have a cooking blog and a beach body simultaneously.  In preparation for my upcoming trip to the clear, blue water beaches of Ft Lauderdale I’ve had to eat light and stick to my living room kickboxing routine no matter how much it may have annoyed our downstairs neighbors.  Usually, my desire to eat cheese-covered, bacon-wrapped, pan-fried, butter-slathered, cream-topped dishes outweighs my desire to have Maria Menounos abs (does that gal ever where a shirt?) but lately the weather has been too hot to digest more than fresh vegetables kissed with olive oil and some Balsamic vinegar.  Just a month or two after being inspired by David Chang’s Cherry Tomato and Tofu Salad in Alice Water’s cookbook, “In The Green Kitchen”, I received a request from a Brooklyn Salt reader for some tofu recipes; the Tofu Caprese was born.  It’s pretty nifty how similar firm tofu is to fresh mozzarella, so I’m excited for my lactose intolerant readers to give this one a go.  I’m not a tofu nut, but I had absolutely no trouble polishing off a whole plate of this stuff.  Well, I’m off to the beach…talk to you all next week!

Makes 1 serving

1 1-inch slice of firm tofu
1 small handful watercress (optional), stems trimmed
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 large leaves basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
7 turns freshly cracked black pepper

Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and press firmly to release all the water.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Place the tofu in the dressing and marinate on each side for a few minutes.  Transfer the tofu to a serving plate.  Toss the tomatoes, watercress and basil with the remaining dressing and spoon all of this over and/or alongside the tofu.

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