I love, love, love The Grit, and their little cookbook too.
Indulge me in a little description I yoinked from amazon.com:
“Hands down, The Grit is [a] Southern vegetarian and indie rock institution. The Grit, housed in a 19th-century hardware store in the quintessential hobo college town, is the hangout of choice for musicians, artists, and writers, with lines out the door on weekends. Filled with the recipes that will allow you to take the secrets home, this cookbook serves up Southern-style, vegetarian soul complemented by international dishes.”
Their tofu parmesan makes pretty regular appearances around here. You really can’t go wrong with breading something, dousing it in marinara and coating it with melted cheese. I’d dare say even tofu-haters would enjoy this. The Grit has a reputation for delighting even the the most stubborn carnivores.
Nope, this was not a paid endorsement for the Grit cookbook. That wouldn’t be in the hobo spirit. (Do you think they meant boho?) :D
Tofu Parmesan (from The Grit cookbook)
makes 8-10 servings
3 (15 ounce) blocks of tofu, firm or extra-firm
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella (preferably fresh)
chopped fresh oregano or dried, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9×13 pan. Spread 2 cups of marinara onto the pan.
Tear tofu by hand into chunks of various sizes (I like 1/2″ cubes because uniform size makes breading easier.) Thinly coat a large non-stick skillet with oil and place over high heat. Cover the skillet with a single layer of tofu chunks (you may have to do this in batches) and saute, stirring and tossing often and sprinkling with soy sauce once the tofu starts to turn golden brown. Cook until tofu is very firm, golden and somewhat crispy; transfer to a plate to cool. Cook remaining tofu, if necessary.
While the tofu is cooking, blend together parmesan cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. I’ve never needed this entire amount of breadcrumb mixture for the tofu, so I always set some aside; that way I end up with some non-egg-contaminated crumbs for another use, but it’s there if I happen to need it.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl; add cooled tofu and toss to coat. I use my fingers to lift the tofu out and strain excess egg. Drop tofu into breadcrumb mixture and toss to coat. Then shake off excess breadcrumbs and distribute evenly over your marinara-coated pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until tofu breading is very well-browned. Remove from oven, dollop with remaining 2 cups marinara and mozzarella cheese. Garnish with remaining Parmesan, parsley, and oregano. Return to oven to bake 10-15 more minutes, until top is well-browned.
makes about 8 cups
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir often until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.