summer veg tofu tray bake w/ almond crumble

summer veg tofu tray bake w/ almond crumble

{ video recipe for the galette at the end of the post }

Tofu is boring. Tofu tastes like cardboard/rubber/insert whatever you think. This is probably the most timeworn thing vegans and non-vegans alike hear at some point in their life.

cubed herbed tofu

The thing is, tofu *might* actually be tasteless on its own. But I think the infamous name comes from the point of view of someone in Occident who tried to force himself to have tofu the same way one would do with cheese or meat. Quite possibly cubed and plain, tossed in a salad.

Well, I don’t think chinese monks first created tofu for that purpose. Tofu is a food on its own, with peculiar features and nutritional values. Not a surrogate or a substitute for something else. It also has a sponge-like texture that allows flavoring agents to be soaked in, so the worst thing one could to when dealing with it would be forgetting about adding some kind of enhancer, as I like to call them.

Did you know tofu comes from China, rather than Japan? True, we use the Japanese name for it, but its origin dates back to a whooping 2000 years ago China. As you might know, tofu is a well known and loved food across Asian countries. And if you think about how they use it, you’ll realise that every time (like, every. single. time) tofu comes with some sort of flavorful marinade, or other punchy ingredients to help it flavor-wise.

The flavoring agent that you pick will infuse the tofu, giving it a unique flavor profile that can be as diverse as the spices and add-ins you choose. Soy sauce and star anise will give it an asian kick, while fresh herbs and garlic will take you to Provence – for vegans, of course.

summer vegetables for the tofu tray bake

In this recipe I paired herbed tofu with fresh, summer vegetables, and a crunchy crumble on top.

summer veg and tofu tray bake

Slicing the veg rather thick will give you satisfying morsels of roasted goodness, and the crumble on top will take things up a notch. Not to mention, you’ll cook a no waste dish! Say you have a sad zucchini or a wrinkled bunch of tomatoes hanging in your fridge.

leftover san marzano tomatoes

And some stale bread you’ve accumulated over time – maybe from this toast recipe. Well, roasting will do your sad veg good, and no one will know they weren’t super fresh. Stale bread, on another hand, is perfect to make homemade breadcrumbs.

summer veg tofu tray bake and crumble closeup

You see, we never buy premade breadcrumbs or panko bags at the store. They often have preservatives and other oddities added, but why bother when a box grater (or a food processor) is all it takes to make your own?

stale rye bread cubes for the crumble

The mix I sprinkled on the tray bake has stale rye bread, which I cut into cubes to help the blender process it, almonds, for extra flavor and crunch, fresh herbs (I used thyme), and a glug of olive oil.

preparing crumble for the tofu tray bake

If you add this mix to some cooked spaghetti, seasoned with garlic and chilli infused oil, you’ll have yourself a delicious pasta ammollicata – aka pasta with crumbs, that we Italians call “mollica”. I don’t go crazy for carbs on carbs personally, but it’s a delectable treat, if you happen to need it.

This tray bake is super easy to make and very rich, filled with flavor and different textures and consistencies. It would also be a killer meal prep dish, because you can portion it out into oven safe containers, and reheat it under the broiler for a few minutes until the crumble becomes crunchy.

summer vegetable and tofu tray bake

The eggplant is quite possibly my favorite part, even more than the almond crumble. The cubes with the skin on turn incredibly soft but consistent, thanks to the outer thick layer. I’d live off roasted eggplant all summer long if I could!

On another note, do you like the new kitchen setup I created at the studio? I feel like it’s a bit out of season with all those warm wooden tones, but I can get a pretty nice light there, so I guess it will do. I’m considering to remodel that corner to make the most out of my little space, maybe later this summer. When I’ll be finally enjoying my break from work. Which I’m so longing for.

If you have any tip, suggestion, critique, or just to say hi, feel free to drop me a line!

I’d love to connect over on instagram, or pinterestbloglovin’food52, and YouTube. Let’s be friends!

Until the next time,

xx chiara

summer vegetables tray bake with tofu

a serving of tofu tray bake

summer veg + herbed tofu tray bake w/ almond crumble
prep time
20 mins
cook time
34 mins
total time
54 mins
 

Flavorful summer veg meet herbed tofu and a delicious almond and stale bread crumble. A nice long bake and there you have it, the perfect summer dish!

course: main
cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: breadcrumbs, crumble, eggplant, summer vegetables, tofu, tomatoes, vegan, zucchini
servings: 4 people
ingredient list
Bread + almond crumble:
  • 50 g stale rye bread (or stale sourdough)
  • a handful almonds
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt, to taste
For the tray bake:
  • 1 big zucchini
  • 1 big eggplant
  • 300 g San Marzano tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • one package herbed tofu
directions
Prepare the crumble topping.
  1. In a food processor, add cubed stale bread, almonds, fresh thyme, olive oil and salt to taste. Pulse a few times until crumbly. Set aside.

Chop the veg and tofu for the tray bake.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.

    Wash all the veg. 

    Slice the eggplant lengthwise, to obtain four thick slices. Chop these into 2cm cubes, and add to an oiled tray.

    Slice the zucchini into 1/2 cm thick rounds, and halve the tomatoes. Mix these with the eggplant into the tray. 

    Cube the tofu and add that to the tray as well. Season everything with salt and fresh thyme.

Cover with the crumble and bake.
  1. Sprinkle prepared crumble over the vegetables and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the vegetables are tender.

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