This is another Eric Gower recipe, this one from his The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen. I have posted a couple of his other recipes this month from The Breakaway Cook, here and here and I have a batch of his maccha truffles, hardening in the refrigerator as I write this. (More on those in another post). No, I am not on his payroll, I just like his style and recipes which are unique with interesting flavors and are easy and accessible to the home cook.
This recipe sounded good to me, like comfort food, and I thought that the combination of mint and pistachio in a sort of a pesto sauce would be interesting.
Baked Tofu with Pistachio and Mint
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen, Eric Gower
Serves 3 or 4 as part of a meal
1 tub oborodofu (tofu) about 1/2 pound (200-250 gr)
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
1 cup mint, chopped, 1 Tbsp reserved for garnish
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh coarsely ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C.). Drain the tofu well, and in a blender mix together all the other ingredients (leaving some of the pistachios in larger chunks if possible). In a glass or ceramic baking dish, break up the tofu gently with your fingers, and spoon on the sauce. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes, and serve hot in warmed bowls. Taste for salt and top with the extra mint.
I decided to make my baked tofu in small, individual ramekins and made about half the recipe, which was still a good amount. I wasn't sure exactly what oborodofu was and I found the following statement from Eric here on this website: "Oborodofu is sort of the panna cotta of tofu. It's creamy and and a little custardy, except the "custard" sense comes not from dairy but from the soy milk. It's what tofu is before they start putting heavyweights on it to squeeze out moisture and make it "firm," and, god forbid, "extra firm." It's sort of "extra silken" tofu." I didn't take the time to try to find it and just used a good local brand of silken tofu instead. The next time I make it I will look for the Oborodofu. Gower notes that you can serve this with a cup of soup and salad as a casual meal and that it would pair well with a pinot noir.
Results: It may not look that pretty but the flavor was great and it was quick and easy to make. I liked the mint and pistachio pairing--it was not too minty and had a fresh, nutty taste. The sauce would be good on pasta as well. I would make this again.