Grilled Herb Tofu Sandwiches with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Grilled Herb Tofu:
- 2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained, each piece halved horizontally and containers reserved
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup tamari (a type of soy sauce made without wheat, available in Asian markets and specialty shops)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto:
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 red onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rings
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 slices hearty whole-grain bread, lightly toasted
- 4 slices Grilled Herb Tofu
- 3 cups chopped mixed baby greens
To make the herbed tofu: Pat the tofu dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Arrange the tofu over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.
Whisk the oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, garlic, mirin, tamari, dill and pepper in a bowl to blend. Pour some marinade into the reserved tofu containers. Place 1 tofu slice in each container. Pour more marinade over the tofu slices. Repeat layering with the remaining tofu slices and marinade.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the tofu 4 minutes on each side, or until it is heated through and grill marks appear. Alternately, the tofu can be baked. To do so, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on each side, or until it is golden brown and heated through. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the tofu and serve.
To make the pesto: Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the tomatoes. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender.
Drain the tomatoes, reserving the soaking liquid. Combine the tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes and basil are minced. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Blend in about 3 tablespoons of the reserved soaking liquid to form a thick and creamy spread.
To make the sandwiches: Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 12 minutes, or until the onions are tender and beginning to brown. Season the onions to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the pesto over the bread slices. Arrange the grilled tofu atop 4 bread slices. Top with the warm sautéed onions, lettuce, and the remaining bread slices. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve warm.