Basque Piperade With Tofu Steaks
Reflecting the colors of the Basque flag, this vegan piperade brings toothsome seitan together with a tangy sauté of onions, peppers & tomatoes. Although this dish calls for a lot of peppers, the end result is actually somewhat sweet. The longer it cooks, the sweeter it gets! If you happen to get an unusually hot variety of shishito peppers, cut down the heat by adding a little sweetener at the end. For serving, this piperade pairs perfectly with crispy, seared tofu steaks. Allow the piperade to simmer, covered, for a half hour or longer before preparing the tofu steaks for maximum flavor. If you aren’t into tofu, the piperade also stands up very well as a hearty entree all on it’s own.
What You’ll Need
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 pack Upton’s Naturals seitan (or homemade)
- 3 small onions, finely chopped
- 1 1⁄4 lb. shishito peppers, seeded, & torn into strips
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 jar (12 oz) red piquillo peppers, drained & torn into strips
- 3 medium tomatoes, cored, peeled, & coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 package extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into 4 pieces
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika (or piment d’Espelette) or to taste
- Sea salt to taste
How To Make It
- In a large pot over medium heat, brown seitan in 2 tbsp. of the coconut oil.
- Next, add onions and shishito peppers into the pot. Sauté over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Now, stir in tomato paste and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Mix in piquillo peppers, tomatoes, liquid smoke, paprika, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt to taste.
- Continue to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and allow to continue simmering over medium-low heat.
- While that’s simmering, let’s cook the tofu steaks using another stovetop burner. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place tofu steaks in hot coconut oil and sear until one side is browned. You’ll see that golden color creeping up the sides when the steaks are ready to flip. You may need to move these around slightly during cooking to prevent sticking. NOTE: The smoke point of coconut oil is 350°F. If your stove tends to burn pretty hot on medium, reduce the heat slightly after a few minutes.
- Flip the tofu steaks and continue cooking on the other side until just crisp. Turn off the heat and allow tofu steaks to drain on a paper towel.
- Let’s eat! Pour the piperade from the pot into a large serving dish. Top with tofu steaks and season with salt and paprika to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!