Rich & Hearty With Wonderful Flavor & Texture
Cozy, creamy, and totally satisfying, this dish is the perfect special occasion vegetarian dinner entree for the people you love.
- 2 14 ounce packages organic firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups raw Swiss chard or golden beet greens chopped
- 4 cups raw spinach chopped
- 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce homemade or jarred, I like Rao’s Marinara Sauce
- 3/4 cups flour
- 3 eggs whisked
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 1 1/4 cups parmesan cheese divided
- 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 egg whisked
- zest of half a lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella I used 2 balls, sliced thinly
- drizzle of olive oil
- Drain and rinse tofu, and wrap in a clean dish towel. Gently squeeze the excess water out without breaking the tofu apart, and pat dry.
- Place the blocks of tofu horizontally in front of you on a cutting board, and cut each block into 8 equal slices. Put the tofu slices on a dish towel lined sheet pan, and place another towel on top. Press the top towel gently into the tofu to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
- Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat, and pour in the oil. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 or 5 minutes until softened. Mix in the garlic and let cook around 30 seconds, then add your chopped greens, still stirring occasionally until everything is cooked, about 2 to 3 more minutes. Greens should be lightly cooked and still a little crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste, blend thoroughly, and remove from heat. Empty the contents of the pot into a strainer, and let the strainer rest hanging over the pot to drain out any excess moisture.
- If you are making your own sauce, do that now. If not, just get that jar out.
- Place a rack in the middle of your oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Carefully slide the towel of tofu slices from the sheet pan to the counter. Line up three medium size bowls next to your tofu. Dry and line the sheet pan that had the tofu on it with parchment paper, placing it next to your last bowl.
- Fill the first bowl next to the tofu with the flour, the second bowl with the eggs, and the last bowl with the panko mixed with 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese.
- With your dominant hand, pick up a slice of tofu and drag it around the flour, then dip it in the egg mixture, brushing the excess egg on the side of the bowl, then dip it into the panko, turning it over so both sides are coated. Place slice on the sheet pan. Continue the process with the rest of the slices.
- Bake the tofu about 12 minutes or until it is lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and let cool to the touch.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, and then add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly, and set aside.
- Thinly slice the mozzarella, and set aside.
- Lightly oil the sides of a deep baking dish. I used a 12 inch by 8 1/2 inch by 3 inch deep dish. Spread 1 cup of sauce evenly over the bottom.
- For the first layer, cover the sauce with half of the tofu slices. Top that with the ricotta cheese mixture, then the greens mixture, then the parmesan and basil. Speading each layer evenly across the previous one. For the second layer, place the rest of the tofu evenly along the top of the basil, then spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce, then the mozzarella slices, and the parmesan. Sprinkle the top with basil, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until everything is heated through and cheese is nicely melted. Remove from the oven, and let sit for 10 minutes so everything stays firm when you cut into it. Slice evenly into eight pieces, and serve with a crisp green salad.