Nice skewers of grilled tofu and peppers, with a marinade of pesto (our homemade) and olive oil, salt and pepper. With a side of sauteed kale, a perfect, balanced, vegan meal!
I am always trying new ideas in preparing tofu. I am not a strict vegetarian but like the vegetarian dishes and have learned different ways in preparing tofu, such as stir fry, soups, and noodle dishes, along with an appetizer like lemongrass tofu, where you marinate the medium firm tofu in lemongrass and spices, then deep fry. They become so crispy on the outside and airy and light on the inside, which just melt in your mouth. Maybe one day I will be vegetarian, never know.
We came upon this recipe on a farmers market excursion, this time on a Sunday and also a farmers market we had not been to: “La Cité Francophone Farmer’s Market” located in the french University of Alberta area, campus St. Jean, South Edmonton. A quaint area also with a great café “Café Bicyclette”, that I think has some great breakfast plates and sweets and of course great coffees and teas. There was a food truck at the market that day, and they were serving tofu skewers done Asian style with a teriyaki sauce, being adventurous I convinced Nicoletta that we should try them, they were good but not something that I was excited about. I was inspired to try to elevate this tofu idea and we had some tofu in the fridge along with some colorful peppers, so why not a nice skewer of grilled tofu and peppers. A marinade of pesto (our homemade) and olive oil, salt and pepper.
The birth of our very first grilled tofu pepper skewers in a pesto sauce:
The tofu marinating all day absorbing the freshness of the basil and extra virgin olive oil, along with a nice sea salt and cracked pepper. I love that smell of pesto and knowing that tofu is like a sponge, intensified by the pesto, I could not wait to sink my teeth into these.
Nicely charred and caramelized grill marks in place and just little grilling time and you will have guests asking for seconds. I think people have the wrong idea that tofu is flavorless and rubbery in texture, but lack of knowledge and creativity may produce just that, luckily I am always willing to learn and have a lot of creativity and having faith that these will be great, helped also.
The taste, wonderful, the freshness of the pesto, (basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano and rich cold pressed olive oil), along with the smoky charred richness of the grilled peppers, both orange and red, the orange being sweeter in taste as the red having more acidity, both equally tasty, and beautiful in texture. The colors on the plate a canvas of beauty and simplicity.
I love the crispiness of the grilled tofu, and the nice creamy inside, with just that slight crunch of the peppers is definitely a delight. We served them with a first blanched then fried kale, a great compliment to the skewers in texture and taste.
If your not keen on tofu, just try this recipe. It may just change how you think and how much you may like tofu. I was a bit skeptical at first too because never had tofu barbecued, but I am an adventurer and this journey I was willing to surpass my fear. Send me a comment, would love to hear some different ideas of how you prepare tofu.
- 1 package of firm tofu cut into cubes
- 1 medium orange pepper chopped into 3 cm squares
- 1 medium red pepper chopped into 3 cm squares
- 3 tablespoons of pesto
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Place cubed tofu into a bowl.
- Toss in peppers.
- Mix with pesto, olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Mix gently as not to break up the tofu, and let sit for a few hours.
- Submerge bamboo skewers into warm water and let soak for a few hours.
- Preheat barbecue to 400° F.
- Skewer tofu and peppers alternating peppers in between the tofu balancing the colors.
- On a paper towel drizzle some olive oil and carefully grease up the grill.
- Place skewers on the grill, cook till char marks form, roughly 3-4 minutes then turn 180 degrees.
- Brush with remaining marinade.
- Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Flip skewers over and cook for another 3-4 minutes and turn 180 degrees.
- Brush again with remaining marinade.
- Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Take off grill and plate.
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