Grilled hot sauce glazed tofu, grilled kale, & wheat berry salad

Tonight’s dinner encapsulates some of my favorite things lately: hot sauce glazed tofu, kale, and wheat berries. I mixed it up a little from the usual way I prepare these dishes to give them a summer flare with the grilling (husband did all the grilling here as needed).

Grilled Hot Sauce Glazed Tofu
1 block of extra-firm tofu
cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning
olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup of Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup or more of hot sauce (I used Frank’s Hot Sauce)

Heat up your grill and spray some olive oil on the grill rungs so that the tofu doesn’t stick. Cut the tofu into several slices (about 1/3-1/2 inch thick each). Spray olive oil on both sides of the tofu. Then sprinkle your cajun seasoning/Old Bay seasoning on each side, rubbing it in as you go. Grill the tofu on both sides until desired or until you see grill marks. Be careful not to overcook or the tofu will get tougher and chewier.

As the tofu is cooking, heat up the margarine in a small saucepan on the stove top until it all melts. Then add the hot sauce and let it simmer. Stir until it looks well blended. The amounts indicated here for the margarine and hot sauce are just estimates. I usually eyeball it. If you want it to have less heat, add more margarine.

When your tofu is done grilling, put them on a plate or cutting board and cut the squares in half, forming triangles. Put them in a non-porous bowl and pour the hot sauce/margarine glaze over them. Mix well to make sure all pieces get drenched. Serve immediately!

Grilled Kale
Several stalks of kale
2 TB olive oil
1-2 TB fresh lemon juice
cayenne pepper
black pepper
sea salt

Wash and rip up pieces of several stalks of kale (making sure to exclude using the stalks themselves). Place them in a large plastic ziploc bag. Pour the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper (just a sprinkle), black pepper and sea salt (to taste) in the bag as well. Seal the bag and shake it up well. (In the future, I think I’d mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices in a small bowl and then pour it in to make sure the spices are more evenly distributed). Take all of the kale out of the bag, place them on a grill (with some foil underneath), and grill until crispy around the edges. Perfection!

Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup of wheat berries (dry)
2 cups of water (for cooking wheat berries)
1/3 cup homemade balsamic vinegarette
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4-5 chopped scallions
2 radishes sliced thinly
5 grilled sun-dried tomatoes
4-5 fried shallots
2 cups canola oil
1/4 cup flour
olive oil

I essentially used ingredients that were in my pantry or fridge (many from our CSA) to put this salad together. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand to spice up a wheat berry salad!

Soak one cup of wheat berries (using water that covers them and then some) for an hour. Also soak the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl with water (making sure to cover them) for at least one hour.

Drain and rinse the wheat berries and put them into a rice cooker (or  just put them in a pot on the stove and prepare like you would brown rice). Put 2 cups of water in the rice cooker and start it on the brown rice setting until it is finished (it was roughly just under 2 hours for our cooker).

While the wheat berries are cooking, drain your sun-dried tomatoes. Place them on a grill with foil underneath, spray with olive oil, and cook until they are charred around the edges and on the skin of the tomatoes. Chop them into smaller pieces to incorporate into the salad later.

To prepare to fry the shallots, heat the canola oil in a pot on the stove until it reaches 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, peel your shallots and slice your them thinly. Place the flour in a bowl and toss the sliced shallots in the flour to coat. When the oil has reached the right temperature, cook the shallots in the pot until they brown lightly (this will happen in a matter of minutes, so watch carefully!). Take them out using a metal spatula or small strainer and place on a plate with paper towel underneath to soak up the oil.

When the wheat berries are done, place them in a non-porous bowl. Mix with the balsamic vinegarette. Add the parsley, scallions, radishes, and grilled sun-dried tomatoes. Top with the fried shallots (mixing these in too soon will cause them to get soggy). A wonderful summer dish!

I am happy to say that this was a delectable summer meal! We eat the hot sauce glazed tofu on a regular basis, but usually just bake them. This grilling method takes the tofu to a new level. The grilled kale is now one of our favorites. We usually have the kale sauteed, but again, when grilling season is here, take advantage. Wheat berries are also a new favorite after I had a similar salad  at a visit to a local wine and tapas bar called Just a Taste. I’m happy to report that most of what you see on this plate is local as well. The kale, scallions, and parsley are from our CSA Full Plate Collective. The tofu is from Ithaca Soy. It is by far the best tofu I’ve ever had! Most tofu has to be pressed to get additional water out. This tofu never has to be pressed and has the perfect consistency. It can be purchased in bulk from large tubs from Greenstar Co-op in Ithaca.  If we ever move from this area, I will mourn not having this tofu at my finger tips. The wheat berries are from Cayuga Pure Organics. Even the cajun seasoning I used for the tofu was  local! It was Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub (from Syracuse). Enjoy!


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