Welcome to my first recipe of this year’s Vegan Mofo! I can’t take full credit for this idea. I wish I could, but I’m just really piggybacking off of an idea Daily Garnish had earlier in the summer for a vegan caprese salad. She had the bright idea to replace mozzarella with tofu – everyone’s favorite flavorless ingredient.
When you think about it, basil is the real star of the show (to me at least). Combine that with ripe tomato, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a great quality bread and you have the full flavor spectrum. You really aren’t going to miss the mozz at all.
Vegan Caprese Sandwich
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 block of tofu (you won’t use it all)
- Handful of fresh basil
- Good quality bread
- Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper
Grab your block of tofu and an object (like a glass or cookie cutter) that can cut small rounds. This is totally optional, you can always do small square slices of tofu as well. I found this small glass worked perfectly because it gave me tofu slices that were the same size as my tomato.
Cut off the excess of tofu (whatever is left hanging outside of your glass/cutter). I ended up with about 2/3 of the block still.
Slice the tofu into thin, uniform pieces.
Use your glass or cookie cutter to make tofu rounds. Save the scraps for a tofu scramble!
Press the excess liquid out of the rounds. The easiest way is to lay them on a flat surface on top of paper towels. Then put a layer of paper towels on top, top with a plate (or another cutting board, in this case), and then place something heavy on top to squeeze out the liquid. The longer you can press it the better, I think I left it like this for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice your tomato the same thickness at the tofu and chiffonade your basil (just ball it up and slice thin).
When you’re tofu is ready, it’s time to assemble your sandwich! Layer the tomato and mozzarella across your bread. Sprinkle the basil over the top. Whisk together about 1tsp of olive oil and 2tsp of balsamic vinegar. Pour that over your entire sandwich and give a final sprinkling of sea salt and cracked pepper.
I highly suggest getting a sturdy bread/roll like this (I bought it at my local bakery). Any bread will work but this really held up while I was eating it.
Enjoy this tasty beast.
So there you have it. It is completely possible to take a salad based around cheese and turn it into an amazing vegan meal. Give it a try and let me know what you think!