Monday, January 24, 2011

Tomato Goat Cheese Strata

Use your largest cast-iron skillet for this recipe - my 12-inch Le Creuset was brimming to capacity, so it's a good thing I didn't try to make the strata in the smaller 9-inch version.  This strata would be a great hearty one-dish dinner, and also makes a great component to a leisurely brunch - good accompaniments include strips of Lightlife bacon, fruit, or your favorite flavor of non-dairy yogurt.

  • 1 (1-pound) package silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (for color)
  • 1 cup plain non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) undrained can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • 8 cups (1-inch) cubed sourdough bread
  • 3 ounces prepared vegan goat cheese*
1. Combine the tofu, cornstarch, and turmeric in a blender; process until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and whisk together with the milk and parsley; set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the sage and garlic; saute for 1 minute.  Add the crushed red pepper and the tomatoes; bring to a boil, then continue to cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the bread cubes, and crumble the goat cheese evenly over the top.

3. Pour the tofu mixture evenly into the pan - your pan should be very full at this point.  Carefully transfer to an oven and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

*To make vegan goat cheese, crumble 3 ounces Sunergia feta into a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons Tofutti cream cheese, 1 tablespoon Tofutti sour cream, and a splash of lemon juice; mix together with a fork until well blended.  This was my first time following this recipe for goat cheese, and I loved it.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 wedge), Calories 415 

Tasting Notes:
Absolutely fabulous.  This was a perfect example of a strata (layered casserole), since the tofu mixture perched so wonderfully atop the bread-and-tomato mixture underneath.  Every component - from the moist bread cubes, to the spice of the red pepper, to the savory onions and sage, to the tofu mixture on top was delicious.  The best part were the little pockets of goat cheese - a burst of creaminess and flavor each time.  Overall the strata was a little too tomato-y, or it would have been a solid 5.


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