Summer hit Syracuse last weekend with the impetuousness of a long-forgotten season. Blazing down during a Sunday bike ride, it left its pink handprint on my neck. Yesterday it reached 30°C (87°F) and today the mercury is still up in the high 20°s (70°s).
One of my favorite things about hot weather is eating cooler foods. Anything I can make without turning on my oven or standing over my stove gets my immediate approval. Coming in at a close second are things that can be cooked quickly or on low heat.
But first, a warning: I can’t promise you this will be the prettiest post. In this case, tofu came out a little camera-shy, looking rather drab drenched in marinade. But once it was tucked into a toasted sourdough sandwich, it was reunited with greatness.
Tofu, which a wonderfully healthy source of natural soy protein (as opposed to all those junky bars, shakes, and factory-produced cereals), seems to have this way of sitting in my fridge too long. For some reason, I seem to have this horrible tendency to neglect it. But it too deserves to be loved. And topped with avocado, sprouts, and fresh tomatoes, tofu-love comes easily. Even if you’ve been known to say a mean word or two about it.
And that’s where this method comes in. When I stopped buying deli meats, I missed the protein element in my sandwiches. Egg salad and tuna got old fast. And so I hauled out the tofu, and have been making these slices ever since. Best of all, they last (almost) forever in the fridge.
Tofu Sandwich Slices
- Slice a block of firm tofu in ¼ to ½ – inch slices
- Mix up a marinade: There’s almost no limit to what you can do here, just mix up any liquid things you think go together. In the past I’ve used brown sugar, soy sauce, worchestershire, even ketchup. You could use pesto, or a curry-coconut milk mixture, or any supermarket bottled peanut, Thai, or Indonesian sauce. I’m sure some salad dressings would do a great job, too. For a smoky taste, try a few dashes of liquid smoke, or BBQ sauce.
- Marinate the slices in a plastic container or bowl for a few hours, or overnight,
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Lay the slices out on a piece of parchment or foil, and bake until they become dry and leathery at the edges, and maybe start to brown slightly, usually over an hour. You can continue to bake them until they’re completely “meaty” all the way through, or leave them soft an squishy at the centers. Up to you.
- Cool, and store in the refrigerator to use in sandwiches.