This dish demonstrates how creative you can be with tofu. The tahini spread adds a creaminess that perfectly complements the crunch of the walnuts. Serve this entrée with Broccoli and Cauliflower with Vegan “Cheese” Sauce. For added flavor, toast the walnuts and dried coconut.* Replace the walnuts with pecans, macadamias or other chopped nuts, if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To marinate the tofu, place 2 tablespoons of tamari, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of water and the garlic in a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish and stir well. Slice the tofu lengthwise to form 4 cutlets. Slice each cutlet in half diagonally to make 8 triangles. Place the cutlets in the casserole dish to marinate for 5 minutes, flipping occasionally.
Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake the cutlets in the marinade for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce: in a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of tamari and mix well. Depending upon the consistency of the tahini, you may need to add some more water for a smooth consistency. Set aside.
To make the crust: in another small bowl, combine the walnuts, coconut, parsley, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt and stir well.
Remove the tofu from the oven. Spread a thin layer of tahini sauce on each cutlet and top with the walnut crust. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10–15 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown, before serving.
* Place walnuts and dried coconut on separate baking sheets and bake at 375°F until golden-brown. The walnuts will take about 8 minutes, the coconut about 3 minutes. Check frequently to make sure they don’t burn.
Walnut-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets: Follow the basic recipe, substituting tempeh for the tofu. Tempeh is a fermented soy product available in either the refrigerated or frozen section of all natural food stores and many larger supermarkets.
Walnut-Crusted Portobello Mushrooms: Follow the basic recipe, using four portobello mushrooms—remove the stems—in place of the tofu.
Tahini-Lemon Salad Dressing: Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of miso paste to the tahini spread. Add water to desired consistency and more tamari, if necessary.