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We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: The grill is for more than just meat.
Come summer, few people can resist the pull of the grill. And while grilling is too often focused only on meat, even vegetarians and vegans dream of fueling the flames and trying for perfect grill marks. Tonight, we're opening up the grill to everyone.
Set aside the burgers and fire up the barbecue for tofu marinated in peanut sauce, and then pair the main dish with a side of slaw. This isn't your typical barbecue food, so don't make a typical heavy slaw. Try a napa cabbage variation drizzled with a light but creamy dressing, with a kick from lemon juice and sumac. Now all you need to complete your vegetarian barbecue is a couple of ice-cold beers.
Two 12-ounce packages extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon ground sumac
1 head napa cabbage
1/2 head savoy cabbage
1/2 small red onion
You probably have garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, salt, and olive oil. If not, add those to the list, too.
1. Drain the tofu, wrap it in a layer of paper towels, and press it with heavy objects while you prep the other ingredients. Chop two cloves of garlic and add to a blender with 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of honey, the sherry, and the peanut oil. After the mixture is well blended, add the chili garlic sauce and blend. Add a handful of cilantro to finish and more chili garlic sauce if desired.
2. Slice each block of tofu into 8 pieces and add it to a plastic bag with the marinade.
3. Start the salad: Whisk together the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and ground sumac. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of boiling water while whisking. Drizzle in 1/4 cup of olive oil while whisking vigorously, creating a creamy emulsion.
4. Prep the vegetables: Cut the cabbage into 1/2-inch ribbons and slice the onion very thinly. Add the chopped vegetables to a large bowl.
5. Remove the tofu and place on a medium-hot grill (or grill pan). Try for good grill marks on each side. Meanwhile, combine the cabbage with 3/4 of the dressing. Arrange the avocado in slices on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve the tofu warm with any leftover marinade and a big helping of slaw.
Photos by James Ransom