I created this loaf for a celebrity wedding party where there was a group of about 12 vegans in attendance. I was hired to cook for the vegan folk, and the rest of the party had an all-American barbecue. I pretty much had to put security on it after a few of the meat eaters wandered in the vegan area and had a nibble and realized just how delicious it was.
I made it in a Bundt pan, so it made a lovely centerpiece on the table, surrounded by mashed sweet potatoes with shallots and a big bowl of greens, seasoned with balsamic orange vinaigrette and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds. As it gets closer to Christmas, I'll be sharing some recipes that would complete the meal. Of course, this loaf can be enjoyed any time of year and is quite delicious sliced up and served cold with a nice leafy salad.
If you're making it for a larger group and choose to use a Bundt pan, you will need to use a bit more tofu—about 2 pounds.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan or wok and sauté the onion with a pinch of sea salt for a minute. Add the garlic, carrot, pepper, celery, herbs and lemon zest and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
It's a good idea to dry as much liquid as possible out of the tofu so it will absorb more of the flavors in the dish. To do this, you can either cut it into slices and dry it out between sheets of paper towel or in a clean dry tea towel.
Crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl and add the cooked vegetables, bread crumbs, ground nuts, parsley and seasonings. Mix thoroughly—I like to use my hands to do this so I can put a little extra love in it!
Oil a loaf pan or Bundt pan and press the mixture into it. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top and bake for 35 minutes. Allow to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving platter.
- You can use a different assortment of veggies such as leek, corn and zucchini or red onion, yellow pepper and celery—be creative with what's fresh in your market.
- If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use dried—a little less if using dried, as the flavor is more concentrated. You could also use oregano and fresh basil for a nice flavor variation.
- If you prefer not to use nuts, you could use more breadcrumbs. You could also use oatmeal flakes to bind. If using oats, grind them up first in a small food processor or spice grinder so they're like a coarse flour.
- You can experiment with the seasonings. Instead of miso, you could use a vegetable bouillon. Dissolve it in a little hot water first to make it like a paste, then add. In this case, I would omit the tamari.
- You can spice it up with the addition of some fresh or dried chili or other spices.
- You could also make burgers from this mixture. Simply form into patties, and coat with some sesame seeds or breadcrumbs and pan fry in a little olive or sunflower oil.