Crispy Tofu With Balsamic Tomatoes
You don’t need to fry tofu to get it crisp-edged and golden brown. Drizzling it with a mix of cornstarch and oil, then roasting it will deliver a closely crunchy approximation that won’t splatter oil across your countertop. Here, the tofu is roasted alongside balsamic-glazed cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic and red onions, all of which caramelize as they cook. Top everything with a handful of fresh herbs, then serve it over rice, quinoa or another grain for an easy, plant-based meal. Note that the recipe serves only two to three. To double it, use two sheet pans and add a few extra minutes to the cook time.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1(14- to 16-ounce) package extra-firm or firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 1tablespoon cornstarch
- 1teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- 1pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large, kept whole if small
- 1large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges (about 2 cups)
- 3garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 ½teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for finishing
- ½cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
Step 1Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Step 2Arrange tofu slices on a clean kitchen towel or on paper towels. Cover with another kitchen towel (or paper towels) and place a flat cutting board or baking pan on top. If your cutting board or pan is lightweight, stack a few cans or a skillet on top to weigh it down. Let tofu drain for at least 15 minutes, and up to 45 minutes.
Step 3Transfer tofu to a cutting board and cut slabs into 1-inch cubes. Pat them dry with paper towels and season both sides of the tofu with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Step 4In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, cornstarch, garlic powder (if using) and 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano. Add tofu to cornstarch mixture and gently toss until tofu is evenly coated. Dump tofu onto one side of the prepared sheet pan.
Step 5In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil, tossing to combine.
Step 6Arrange vegetables on other side of the prepared sheet pan. Bake until tofu is crisp and golden brown, and tomatoes are condensed, 25 to 35 minutes. Halfway through baking, flip tofu and toss vegetables while keeping the tofu and veggies separate.
Step 7To serve, sprinkle cilantro on top and drizzle with balsamic and oil, if you’d like.