Mediterranean lemon tofu with artichokes, olives and herbs

by Stevie on June 3, 2010

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I never know what to do with the extra firm high-protein tofu. It feels like a rubber brick and doesn’t really taste that much better either. We had two blocks of the stuff sitting around for a while and I wanted to make something before they reached their expiration dates.

Mediterranean lemon tofu with artichokes, olives and herbs

I used to make something like this dish with chicken breasts. I’d only use capers, olives, herbs, sometimes artichoke hearts and lemon juice, all sautéed in olive oil with salt and pepper. The chicken lent the dish a great flavor that was highlighted by the flour mixture on the outside. But those days are long gone…

I still like the recipe. The problem with tofu is its lack of flavor. Here I’ve tried to intensify it with a briny bath, anchovies and wine with lemon juice. We liked it. I’m going to try a similar preparation for “tofu parmesan” or perhaps tofu with mushrooms and cream sauce sometime soon. Yum!

Mediterranean lemon tofu with artichokes, olives and herbs

16 oz package high-protein or extra firm tofu
Kosher salt
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
2 tsp parmesan cheese (optional)
¼ tsp pasilla chili powder or similar
¼ tsp dried basil
Black pepper to taste
5 anchovy fillets
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp. live oil
½ cup dry white wine
Juice of half lemon
½ cup mixed green and black olives, sliced
½ cup fresh herbs like thyme, basil, parsley, chopped
2 spring onions, shredded into 1 inch strips
Lemon slices
2/3 cup frozen artichoke hearts (optional)
½ red bell pepper, sliced thinly (optional)
1 Anaheim pepper, sliced thinly (optional)
1/3 cup edamame, cooked per package directions (optional)
2 tbsp. capers with some brine (optional)
Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

Slice tofu across the longest direction into about 1 cm thick slices. Cut each rectangular slice into two triangles. Place triangles in a small bowl with a tablespoon of salt. Fill with warm water and let sit for 30 minutes. The brine will infuse some flavor into the tofu.

Meanwhile, if using artichoke hearts, sauté with salt, olive oil and a clove of garlic until heated through and slightly caramelized. Discard garlic clove and set aside.

If using fresh peppers, sauté them with some salt and olive oil until just tender. Set aside.

Mix flour, bread crumbs, cheese, pasilla powder, dried basil, black pepper and some salt together in a large dish. Drain and rinse soaking tofu. Let drip dry then toss in flour mixture.

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add anchovies then tofu slices. Fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan. Add garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Add artichoke hearts, edamame and peppers if using. Mix with garlic. Return tofu to pan and fold gently. Cook for a few minutes then add white wine. Allow to cook on medium until liquid reduces. Fold in olives, fresh herbs, spring onion, lemon slices, and capers. Squeeze lemon juice over everything. Adjust salt. Add crushed red pepper and more black pepper if desired.

Serve with white rice or perhaps potatoes.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tasteofbeirut June 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Your intro made me laugh because I have the same problem and in fact I let two packages of tofu go stale because I just had no inspiration ! Great idea with this meal, you made it palatable to me.

almostveg February 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

We eat a lot of tofu and am always looking for inspiration… shall try this recipe. If you want more tofu recipes, visit my blog at

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