I just love all of the flavors in a Greek salad. The crisp sweetness of the peppers, cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes as well as the tangy, salty olives and creamy feta cheese are a joy for the taste buds. Not to mention the deliciousness of a good garlicky, lemony Greek dressing with fresh oregano.
I haven’t enjoyed a Greek salad since switching to a whole foods plant based diet. Not for nothing, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around a Greek salad without feta cheese. And my favorite part of a Greek salad is how delicious a bite of mouth puckering olives and feta cheese tastes. Mmmmm, heavenly. And while I do not miss cheese in my life (I’ve never been a big cheese lover), I do miss the salty, creaminess of feta.
In my travels around the web I’ve found a few recipes out there for tofu feta but just haven’t tried them yet. Unfortunately though, I’ve been craving Greek salad pretty strongly and the oregano plant in my window sill has been calling to me to make something wonderful with it. So I decided that instead of attempting my own tofu feta (for now) I would marinate some tofu in a nice home made Greek dressing and toss that together with a ton of veggies (traditional Greek salad style) and a nice nutty, hardy whole grain. Then I piled that on top of the last of the greens from our farm visit and had a yumtastic lunch.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp.)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 grinds of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil*
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 cups water or veggie stock
- 1 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup diced fresh tomato (1/2 to 3/4 inch dice)
- 1 cup diced cucumber (1/2 to 3/4 inch dice)
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (1/2 to 3/4 inch dice)
- 1/2 cup diced purple onion (1/2 to 3/4 inch dice)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes (optional)
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Dallop of hummus (optional)
Drain the tofu and press it to remove the excess liquid. There are many ways to do this, but I prefer to cut it in half horizontally or filet style, so that you have two rectangles approximately 1/2 inch thick (if you’re using some of the thicker tofu on the market, you can cut it into 3 rectangles). Lay each piece onto a flat plate or rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board on top of that, then a good heavy cast iron skillet on top of that. Place on the counter, out of the way, and check it every 10 or 15 minutes to drain off the excess liquid on the plate. Do this for at least 30 minutes, but preferably an hour to get a firmer, dryer texture from your tofu.
While your tofu is draining, combine all of the dressing/marinade ingredients in a 16 oz. jar and shake very well to combine. As an alternative you can also whisk everything together in a bowl or use your food processor. Set aside until your tofu is ready. *I tend to use the lesser amount of olive oil because that’s how I like it. Feel free to add more olive oil based on your taste. Also, you can double this recipe to have extra vinaigrette. The leftovers will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Once your tofu has drained, cut it into bite sized cubes, about 3/4’s of an inch or so. Place your tofu in a single layer into a large plastic container that has a lid. Pour the dressing/marinade over the tofu and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
While the tofu is marinading, rinse the farro and drain. Then add the farro, stock or water and salt to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until al dente. Drain the farro and rinse thoroughly cold water. Set aside and let drain well.
Chop all of your vegetables and add to a large mixing bowl. To that add the cooled, drained farro. Add the tofu, with the marinade and toss together thoroughly, but gently.
You can serve this alone or atop of a bed of greens or in a pita pocket. Add a dallop of hummus if you like.