A hearty pie made with tofu, sweet potato, olives and tomatoes with Mediterranean flavours topped with a layer of light, flaky pastry. Read on for the full Mediterranean Tofu Pie recipe plus an EZ Tofu Press review and giveaway!
My understanding of tofu as an ingredient has come a long way over the years. It’s not only that there are different types of tofu, each better suited to different types of recipe, but how you handle the tofu you’re using also matters.
Broadly speaking, savoury cooking calls for firm or extra firm tofu and for a long time that was what I used – firm tofu chopped up and chucked in the recipe. I think this is why a lot of people think they don’t like tofu: if it’s used straight out of the packet without pressing, chances are the tofu will turn into a soggy mush.
In actual fact, it’s very easy to manipulate the texture of firm tofu and determine the end result. As I’ve talked about before, you can freeze tofu to transform the texture. Most of the time though you will simply want to press the tofu to make it firmer so it stays together if you’re braising or stewing the tofu and so it goes crispy if you’re frying or baking it.
Enter the EZ Tofu Press.
If you’re a regular tofu eater, then I’m fairly certain most of you, like me, will have your own idiosyncratic way of pressing it. Mine involves plates, kitchen roll and a stack of cookbooks. It’s reasonably effective, but always feels a little wasteful using disposable kitchen paper. After using the EZ Tofu Press, however, it suddenly doesn’t seem so effective after all…
The EZ Tofu Press is the number one selling tofu press in the US and has very recently launched here in UK. Made from two sheets of BPA-free plastic that tighten together with a screw system, the system couldn’t be simpler.
The press couldn’t simpler to use in only three steps:
1. Place the block of tofu in the centre of the plastic boards and fit in place with the screws
2. Place over a bowl or other receptacle to catch the liquid
3. Go off and prepare the rest of your meal, simply giving the screws a little tighten every few minutes to increase the pressure. The press comes with a handy little ruler so you can check in on your progress.
Unlike many other tofu presses out there, the EZ Tofu Press only takes around ten to fifteen minutes to work its magic. It’s also incredibly easy to clean and takes up very little space when stored away (an invaluable quality in my kitchen!). I can safely say that it created the firmest tofu I’ve ever had at home and I couldn’t imagine ever going back to my stack of books!
One of the real benefits of creating such firm tofu using the EZ Tofu Press is that the tofu is far less fragile during the cooking process. To make this Mediterranean Tofu Pie, the tofu is cooked with the sweet potato and other vegetables to create the filling before being baked with a vegan puff pastry top. By having a firmer texture, there’s no need to fry the tofu before and it doesn’t fall apart as soon as you start stirring.
As I’ve mentioned before, most shop-bought puff pastry is accidentally vegan but do always check the label first!
- 400g firm tofu
- 1tbsp paprika
- 100ml hot vegetable stock
- 1 red onion
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 750g sweet potato, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 250g vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 25 pitted green olives, halved
- Handful fresh basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 200C / gas mark 6 / 400F.
- Place the block of tofu into the EZ Tofu Press (or press beforehand with your usual method). As you prepare the other vegetables, tighten the tofu press every few minutes to increase the pressure, until the block has shrunk to around 2cm thick.
- Once all of the vegetables have been prepared, remove the tofu from the press and cut into approx. 1cm cubes. Coat the tofu in the paprika and set aside.
- In a large non-stick saucepan or deep frying pan, add enough stock to cover the base of the pan. Place on a medium high heat and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook for around three minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the cubed sweet potato to the pan along with a little more stock. Cook for around fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally and adding extra stock as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, then add any remaining stock. Once the stock has been fully absorbed, add the tofu.
- Remove the sheet of puff pastry from the fridge and set to one side.
- Cook the pie filling for a further ten minutes or until the sweet potato has fully softened, stirring occasionally. Mix in the olives, fresh basil and black pepper.
- Remove from the heat and scoop the mix into a large oven-proof dish. Cover with the sheet of puff pasty, trim away any excess edges (if you like, you can use these trimmings to create a design to go on top) and bake in the oven for twenty minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden.
Win an EZ Tofu Press
I’m excited to offer one UK reader the chance to win an EZ Tofu Press of their own!
Never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway before? Find out how to enter here. Open to UK residents only, aged 13 and over. Closes midnight 16/04/2016. See Rafflecopter for full T&Cs. Thanks to EZ Tofu Press who kindly provided the review item, giveaway prize and commissioned this recipe. Opinions, photos, etc. are all my own.