This lemon caper herb-crusted tofu is the ultimate dinner-party recipe!
The tofu looks so elegant on top of mounds of pillowy mashed potatoes and the shallot butter sauce adds amazing flavor and ties the whole thing together.
This dish goes well with so many different sides. It’s also surprisingly quick and easy to make. As this meal has multiple items, you’re going to appreciate the simplicity of making this tofu. Although the ingredient list is kind of long, the process for making this dish is not difficult, so don’t be discouraged!
In the past, I’ve served this herb-crusted tofu with crispy oven-roasted potatoes and cashew caper aioli, which is a winner combo. But the more traditional mashed potatoes and buttery sauce are even better with it. They provide a velvety contrast to the crispy tofu crust and the miso in the mash adds another layer of rich flavor.
To top it off, the shallot butter sauce takes this whole dish over the top and really ramps up the flavor factor. I’ve used a few tablespoons of plant-based butter in the sauce, but you could easily substitute it with more olive oil instead.
In case you need some inspiration for what to serve alongside this main course, here are some ideas:
I love serving this herb-crusted tofu with a side of whole olive oil roasted leeks. Roasting leeks whole and treating them as a stand-alone vegetable might seem strange depending on where you’re from in the world, but roasted leeks are a revelation. Coating them in olive oil and then roasting them makes them buttery soft and sweet. Although part of the allium family (along with onions, garlic, shallots, chives, and green onions), roasting leeks transforms them into something delicious on their own.
In place of leeks, however, you could serve this entree with any other veggie side. Roasted carrots, beets, or zucchini would all be delicious, as would sauteed mushrooms or leafy greens.
I served this dish as the main course of my ultimate plant-based Valentine’s dinner, an indulgent three-course meal for two you can find here.
From start to finish, this recipe only takes about an hour to make. Because this dish includes several different components, though, you may want to prepare some of the meal ahead of time.
Here’s what I recommend preparing ahead of time (like a day or two before):
- make the lemon caper herb crust, coat the tofu slabs in it, and let it marinate in its baking dish in the fridge
- boil the potatoes for the mash
- wash and trim your leeks, but keep them whole (or prep whatever veggie you’ll make as a side dish)
This might not seem like a lot of prep, but it will cut your cook time in half. That way, you hardly have any work ahead of you to put this whole dish together the day of! You’ll just need to pop the tofu in the oven, reheat the potatoes and make the mash, prep and roast the leeks or other veggie side, and make the shallot butter sauce.
To make this herb-crusted tofu recipe you’ll need a handful of key ingredients:
- extra-firm tofu
- pine nuts
- fresh and dried herbs
- potatoes (whatever kind you like best for mashed potatoes)
- plant-based butter (Miyoko’s cultured European style butter is my go-to)
- mellow white or yellow miso
- canned coconut milk (or use another neutral flavored plant-based milk such as oatmilk)
- shallots (substitute these with yellow onions if you don’t have them)
- small and slender leeks
You can get creative with these ingredients and substitute what you have on hand. Switch up the herbs in the marinade, change the lemon zest for lime zest, or use other nuts instead of pine. The mashed potatoes would also be delicious substituted with half mashed celery root, parsnip, or cauliflower. And you can always use yellow onions or even garlic instead of the shallots in the sauce.
I hope this recipe gives you a glimpse into the kind of creativity and elegance you can achieve in a plant-based kitchen.
And with that, let’s get into the recipe!