The Food Matters Project: Vegetables au Vin with Tofu

This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration among participating bloggers. Each week, we will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us!

When I initially signed up to put my spin on Vegetables au Vin with Coq, I am not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps I can blame it on my lack of French skills or my immediate observation of the word “vegetables,” but the word “coq” in the title didn’t register with me. Once I realized my mistake, I knew my version of the recipe would not exactly be authentic.

As a recently converted vegetarian, there are no meat products in my pantry or refrigerator. Although I could have prepared this dish traditionally for my meat-eating friends, I didn’t want to throw a dinner party where I had to make a separate dinner for myself. And while my friends may not have been overly excited about the thought of having an evening meal prepared with tofu, I decided that I would give them the French treatment with a dinner of of vegetables au Vin.

Using Bittman’s recipe as my guide, I went ahead and substituted tofu as my protein. Rather than starting off by crisping bacon and browning the chicken, I cooked my tofu until golden and then tossed with some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. From here, I followed Bittman’s directions about sautéing the vegetables, including the eggplant, onion and mushrooms.

While some might have hesitated at the sight of six garlic cloves, I happily threw them all into the mix. Since I’m only a fan of green beans when smothered in cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onions, I decided to leave them out of the dish. For a moment I did consider adding a small can of cannellini beans, but ultimately chose to save them for another use.

Skipping Bittman’s directions about adding the chicken and the green beans, I simply let the mixture come up to a boil and reduce by about half. Then I added in the balsamic tofu and a smidge of butter. Ladled into a bowl of egg noodles, the dish was hearty and satisfying.

With the rain dripping outside my window, my friends and I felt no qualms about being stuck indoors; the combination of red wine, sautéed vegetables, crusty bread and, yes, even the tofu, made for a fabulous evening of good company and food (and even better leftovers).

The recipe is hosted by Evi and Sam over at Fifth Floor Kitchen, and you can head here to see what other FMP members did with it!

Bethany Imondi, a junior studying Government and English at Georgetown University and recent vegetarian, is craving Cadbury creme eggs like crazy to make up for the fact that she can no longer eat classic Easter candies like jelly beans and marshmallow bunnies. Read more…


Vegetables au Vin with Tofu
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
Serves 4-6

1 eggplant, cut into large cubes
1 14-ounce package package extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, halved and slices
1 lb mushrooms, preferably an assortment, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves (or more)
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups veggie stock
2 cups burgundy (pinot noir) or other fruity red wine
2 bay leaves
Several sprigs fresh thyme
Several sprigs fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

If time allows, sprinkle the eggplant liberally with salt, let rest in a colander for 20 minutes, rinse, and pat dry.

Drain, rinse and pat tofu dry; cut into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, stirring regularly, until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Return skillet to stovetop and heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook the onions, mushrooms, and eggplant, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables give up their liquid and begin to dry out and brown, 10-15 minutes; after about 5 minutes of cooking, add the garlic.

Sprinkle the flour over the pan evenly and stir in. Add the stock, wine, bay leaves and herb sprigs. Let the liquid boil until it is reduced by about half and becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat again, add in the tofu and stir in the butter. Turn just long enough to warm it through and coat with the sauce. (You can make the dish ahead to this point and refrigerate for up to a day; reheat gently.) Remove the bay leaves. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Campus Life, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition and Health, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: On the Stove and One Pot.
Mealtime: Dinner.
I'm Cooking For...: Birthday, Dinner Party, and Winter.
Type of Food: Vegetarian and Vegetarian Main.
I Don't Eat: Meat.

Originally posted on Monday, March 26th, 2012

2 Responses to “The Food Matters Project: Vegetables au Vin with Tofu”

  1. Margarita

    March 26th, 2012

    Love the use of tofu and the bed of pasta noodles!

  2. Julia

    March 27th, 2012

    This sounds wonderful! I didn’t even bat an eye at the 6 garlic cloves, I’d probably thrown in a few more, I always try and tip the ‘dragon breath’ meter off the charts ;)

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