Harissa Tofu with Greens and Roasted Veg with Miso-Tahini Sauce


In my aspirations, I’m the obnoxious sort of home cook who’s blending up homemade hummus and nut butters and sauces and just sort of blinks blankly when people buy that sort of thing at the grocery store. In reality, I frequently buy those things at the grocery store despite technically having the capability to make it all at home because, I don’t know, I use my time to do other stuff, like read numerous novels written for teenagers. I sometimes make that stuff… but mostly I buy it. I don’t know, I guess what I mean to say is, I’m going to talk about making it, but I vehemently encourage you to just purchase it if that feels right. You do you, you know?

I’m pretty sure I made this meal during my week of being funemployed, which is why I even bothered spinning up the food processor. And even so, I nearly bought the harissa.

This meal combined two of my recent obsessions — Ottolenghi (forever obsession at this point, I guess), and Tara O’Brady’s brilliant move of combining miso and tahini in her hummus from Seven SpoonsThe former: I faithfully (well, for me) followed Ottolenghi’s harissa recipe from Jerusalem (posted in Epicurious), because at this point, I trust his recipes. The latter: melding of Asian flavors with anything is an easy, easy win for me, and this one’s great. Slight funkiness and saltiness from miso and rich nuttiness from tahini — so good. I’ve started routinely adding miso to my tried-and-true hummus. I’m the worst at appreciating classic recipes. Sorry.

In contrast with the fuss of making your own harissa (actually fairly time consuming, but makes the apartment smell really good) and hummus (not bad, but requires planning if you go from dried chickpeas), putting together the meal after’s easy. In addition to the roasted veg and greens with tofu, recipes below, you’ve got hummus with pita chips and a simple green salad.

Roasted carrots with miso-tahini sauce
1 bunch carrots (rainbow if you can find ’em, if only for presentation)
olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons miso
1 Tablespoon tahini
lemon juice
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Cut carrots in half crosswise, then slice into halves or quarters. Toss with olive oil, spices, and a bit of salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until they’re browned, around 40 minutes.

Sauce is a quick mixture of miso and tahini (dat A+ flavor combo), thinned with lemon juice and water. Drizzle on the vegetables. I also topped with some chopped cilantro because I had it kicking around.

Harissa tofu with greens
1 block of firm tofu
1-2 lbs of greens (I used whatever I had, which was a mix of broccolini, kale, and collard greens)
2-3 Tablespoons harissa
safflower oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚F. (Temperature is actually somewhat flexible, if you’re baking something else… it’ll probably be fine.)

Slice the tofu into small cubes. Arrange on a parchment or silicon-mat lined baking sheet, and bake until the tofu is golden and puffs up. The amount of time this takes is variable, depending on the firmness and moisture level of your tofu.

Heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pan. Let the oil get quite hot, until it’s nearly or just barely smoking. Add the greens to the pan and let them char a little bit, adding a touch of salt and pepper.

Just before serving, arrange the tofu on top of the greens. Top evenly with harissa.

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