So, the funny thing about choosing chervil from the Flavor Bible is that I couldn’t find chervil anywhere, fresh or dried. Apparently chervil is quite fragile and hard to stock. Regardless, I forged ahead with my idea.
Chervil, page 113, is a key ingredient of fines herbes, along with chives, parsley and tarragon. Other flavor matches are leeks, lemon juice and peas, and I served my dinner along with one more match, potatoes. My original intent was to stuff the herbs inside the tofu, but my tofu slices were pretty thin, so I put the herbs on the outside instead.
Fines Herbes & Dijon Crusted Tofu with Braised Leeks & Pea Puree
The balance of flavors in this dish is great; the leeks are soft and sweet, the tofu is chewy and herbaceous, and the pea puree is salty, tangy and smooth. Even with multiple strong flavors going on, the delicate fresh herbs shine through. I had truffled mashed potatoes on the side, but crispy roasted potatoes would be a nice texture contrast too.
14 oz extra firm tofu, patted dry and cut into four slices lengthwise
2 Tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp vegetable broth or water
2 Tbs each fresh chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
6 medium leeks
1 Tbs Earth Balance
1 cup white wine
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp white miso
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs vegetable broth or water
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and heat a wide pan over medium-high heat.
2. Trim most of the green parts off of the leeks and discard, leaving the white and light green parts. Trim the root ends, leaving enough so that the leeks hold together. Cut each leek in half lengthwise then rinse to remove any dirt, separating the layers. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the dijon mustard, vegetable broth, herbs, salt and pepper, and mix well.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with oil. Spread some of the mustard mixture thinly on a slice of tofu, then sprinkle with 1 Tbs of panko and pat the breadcrumbs into the mustard. Place the tofu on the baking sheet breadcrumbs down, and repeat with the rest of the tofu. Aim to use about half of the mustard mixture on the bottoms of the tofu.
5. Spread the rest of the mustard mixture on the tops of the tofu and sprinkle 1 Tbs of panko on each piece. Pat the breadcrumbs into the mustard. Once all of the tofu pieces have been topped with breadcrumbs, spray with oil.
6. Bake the tofu for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, melt the Earth Balance in the hot pan. Add the leeks cut side up and cook for a few minutes, until browned. Flip the leeks and continue to cook for a few minutes.
8. Add the wine to the pan (it will hiss), then drizzle the agave nectar over the leeks and sprinkle in the lemon zest and salt. Shake the pan to combine.
9. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and braise the leeks for 30 minutes, until a sharp knife is easily inserted near the roots. Most of the liquid should have evaporated.
10. While the tofu and leeks are cooking, prepare the pea puree. Place all puree ingredients (peas through vegetable broth) in a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
11. If the tofu is not browned on top after baking 30 minutes, place it under the broiler, watching very carefully, for a minute or two, just until browned.
12. To serve, lay three leeks on each plate. Place a piece of tofu on top of the leeks, then a dollop of pea puree on the tofu.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (24%) 86.22
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.67g 15%
Saturated Fat 1.86g 9%
Cholesterol 0.06mg <1%
Sodium 756.94mg 32%
Potassium 402.26mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 42.68g 14%
Fiber 6.28g 25%
Protein 16.49g 33%