I know what you’re probably thinking…
‘TOFU DOESN’T LOOK ANYTHING LIKE CHEESE! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR EVERLOVING VEGAN MIND?!?!?!’
And the answer is…mostly…no. In fact, I kinda hate tofu. Usually, I can’t get past the hard-on-the-outside-spongy-on-the-inside texture. And, to be fair, I got this idea from another deranged vegan, @Cheflifelizzi (https://instagram.com/cheflifelizzi), who posted her own, gorgeous rendition in a vegan group on Facebook and while I was skeptical I also couldn’t wait to try it for myself. And it was worth it. I mean, just look at this photogenic caprese on its beautiful bed of arugula and toasted ciabatta:
Who can deny that it looks EXACTLY like mozza?
Cheese is undoubtedly one of the hardest foods to replicate on a vegan diet. While the options have vastly improved over the last few years it’s still a bit of a hunt and peck game to find the ones that you like. I’ve had some decent mozza stand-ins but between texture and taste, this tofu rendition wins hands down. It’s also super simple to do, requiring what basically amounts to a lot of olive oil and a little time.
- 1 lb extra firm tofu, sliced thin (I used organic)
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp garlic herb blend (I used The Spice Hunter: Garlic Herb Sensation)
- 2 tbsp Italian herb blend
- Dash of sea salt to taste
For the caprese preparation:
- diced garlic
- 1 large beefsteak tomato or tomato of choice
- balsamic vinegar
- ciabatta bread
- fresh basil
- Drain, slice and marinate your tofu in the fridge for 3+ hours or overnight.
- Preheat your oven (I used the broiler for some quick color on the ciabatta).
- Take the tofu out and let the oil come back to room temp.
- Slice your ciabatta and place it on a cookie sheet inside up.
- Drizzle olive oil from the marinade onto the ciabatta and finish with diced garlic. Place it in the oven to toast for 3-5 mins. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
- While your bread toasts, chop up your tomato and basil.
- Layer arugula (could easily sub for spinach) on your toast, followed by slices of tofu and tomato. Sprinkle basil on top and add a splash of balsamic vinegar over everything.
- Top with a dash of sea salt and enjoy!
Tip: Reserve your herbed up olive oil to use as part of a homemade salad dressing! #wastenotwantnot