Jakob is 29 years old and lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been a vegetarian since he was 19 and says
he never feels limited by this way of eating. It's more the opposite. Jakob explains that constraints make
everything simpler since there is less to choose from. He also says that being vegetarian is very stimulating
when it comes to cooking. When i asked him if he had ever thought of having his own restaurant he said :
" Yes, every night and every morning.". Well, if you ever do it Jakob, i'll be your first client.
The dish that Jakob shared with me is a wheat-berry salad served with red wine marinated tofu. He came up
with the recipe while he was cooking for his family this summer and made it a couple of times since then.
— SERVES 4
1 - Marinate tofu.
Place tofu blocks in a strainer and press it with your hands to get out as much water as possible. Cut it into big pieces. In a medium bowl combine red wine,
soy sauce, pressed garlic, sesame oil and a bit of white pepper. Place tofu pieces in the bowl with the marinade and press them down so that they are all covered. Add water if needed.
Let sit at room temperature.
2 - The one-pan salad base.
Peel and mince garlic cloves. Rince tomatoes and chop them in two or four depending on their size. Chop broccoli into medium pieces.
Warm some olive oil in a pan on high heat for a few seconds. Add 2/3 of the tomatoes and cover immediately. Let cook until they become slightly brown, stirring every five minutes.
When they are done, push tomatoes to one side of the pan. Turn down heat to medium and fry garlic in the same pan, adding a bit of olive oil if needed.
After a few minutes, add broccoli, the piece of smoked aubergine (or liquid smoke) and stir everything to combine. Continue frying for about 10 minutes. Then add white wine, turn down heat to low, cover and let cook slowly while you fry tofu.
3 - Fry tofu.
Warm some neutral oil on high heat in a cast iron skillet or a good pan. Proceed in batches. Fry half of the tofu pieces a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. Reserve in a plate and fry the rest of the tofu. When done, add all fried tofu to the pan and pour over the rest of the marinade. Let cook five minutes and remove from heat.
4 - Finish the salad.
Add cooked wheat berries to the pan with tomatoes, garlic and broccoli. Stir well and add salt to taste. Top with baby spinach and the rest of the tomatoes.
2 BLOCKS OF TOFU
1 CUP / 2 DL RED WINE
2 TBSP SOY SAUCE
1 TBSP TOASTED SESAME OIL
3 GARLIC CLOVES, PRESSED
1 KG MIXED TOMATOES
4 GARLIC CLOVES
70 G BABY SPINACH LEAVES, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
A PIECE OF SMOKED AUBERGINE
(OR A FEW DROPS OF LIQUID SMOKE)
2 CUPS / 6 DL WHEAT BERRIES, COOKED
1 CUP / 2 DL WHITE WINE
OLIVE OIL, FOR FRYING
SALT, TO TASTE
JAKOB'S COOKING TIPS /
1 - Freezing tofu
Jakob usually freezes blocks of tofu and thaws them before using. This way he can get out
more water when pressing them and "the more water you get out, the more good stuffs you can get in".
It makes sense.
2 - Replacing white wine
To replace white wine in a recipe Jakob makes his own "fake white wine" by mixing vinegar, water and sugar.
For 1 cup / 2 dl of water add 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir to combine.