October 14, 2010

More Pesto

Wednesday's are the day when I have my night film class, so I always plan ahead and make something that I can easily bring to class. I've found that it's really easy to bring things like pasta dishes, huge salads, or leftovers that would be tasty at room temperature. This week featured more of that almond pesto that I made the other week. I don't make pesto often, but it's always great when I do because I have so much leftover.

Here's a useful tip for saving pesto: scoop the leftovers in an ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. You can pop out the pesto cubes, put them in a baggie, and store in the freezer to use as needed. Whenever I want some, I just pull out a cube and let it defrost in the fridge. Perfectly portioned pesto!

Anyway, here's what was featured in this week's class dinner:

Pesto pasta salad with herb grilled tofu

- 1 cup cooked pasta of choice
- 1 serving herb tofu (recipe to follow)
- 1-2 tbsp pesto
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- S&P, to taste

- Toss everything together and chill until serving. Dinner in minutes. biggrin

Serves 1

Herb tofu

- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp each dried basil, oregano, parsley and thyme
- S&P, to taste

- Slice tofu into desired shape. I just made 1/2" thick tofu "steaks" because I find those easier to marinate.
- Combine marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl or tupperware container. Add tofu and turn once, allowing both sides to get a quick coat. Allow to marinate at least one hour, turning tofu every 15 minutes or so.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes on both sides. Alternatively, you could bake the tofu or pan sear it until brown. Cut into bite-sized cubes before adding to the pasta salad.

While I do enjoy preparing dishes that take a while to cook because I love being in the kitchen, I look forward to making something quick and easy on Wednesdays. This came together in minutes, was extremely flavorful, and utilized simple ingredients that I already had on hand. The most labor intensive part was the herb tofu, which was entirely worth it because it made the dish (good thing I have a bunch leftover because I have this sneaking suspicion it'd make a great sandwich stuffer).

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  1. Ah that looks great (I think I say that often LOL). And I agree, the larger steaks are easier to handle when marinating, they don't break up as easily.

  2. Love the ice cube tray trick!

  3. I have to confess... I'm a tofu virgin! Is there anything to which you can compare the texture? I'm always so scared that it'll be slimy.


  4. @Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I agree. Tofu is completely dependent on how you handle it. I think a lot of people dislike tofu because they don't know how to prepare it properly.

  5. @littleacceb

    Tofu takes on different textures depending on the preparation. Baking it makes it chewy, freezing it makes it spongy and more "meaty", and steaming it makes it more slimy or creamy. Also, there's different types of tofu (silken, firm, extra firm, etc) which are very different. If you tell me what kind of texture you like I can point you in the right direction!

  6. That looks so delicious! I have got to cook more food here at home... I keep making the same boring 10 minute meals or going out for Thai.

  7. @Trinity (of haiku tofu)

    I fully support you going out for Thai; I crave it on almost a daily basis.

  8. @Krystina

    Thanks! I guess I'd lean more towards the meaty or chewy texture. I'm imagining something like halloumi.

  9. @Becca

    I've never had halloumi, but if you like meaty or chewy than I definitely suggest buying extra firm tofu and freezing it before using. If you have access to Trader Joe's, their extra firm tofu is really firm, so you'd probably like that.