Herbed Tofu 'Ricotta' Cakes
These were a very happy accident! Coming about from one of those use-up-bits-and-bobs-in-the-fridge crusades, while simultaneously taking inspiration from a Herb Dumpling Ottolenghi recipe in Shelf Love: Test Kitchen. I don't quite understand how these remain so light and spring-appropriate, yet also creamy, hearty & filling. They're just divine! Crispy on the outside, soft and almost egg-like in the middle. Gently spiced, gloriously savoury - and perfect the next day for breakfast (or I suppose a picnic), cold from the fridge.
a note on the herbs: feel free (and I encourage you) to use whatever herbs you have access too/on hand/growing in your garden! the measurments below are a rough guide. obviously we're talking soft (not woody) herbs, but otherwise the recipe welcomes rough quantities and endless customisation!
Makes approx. 12 cakes / depending on their size - serves 3-4
- garlic olive oil (or regular olive oil)
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced (or 1/4 of a brown onion, finely chopped)
- large handful parsley, roughly chopped
- large handful coriander, roughly chopped
- small handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
- small handful dill fronds, roughly chopped
- small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 450g firm tofu, squeezed dry between a tea-towel
- 100g soft nut cheese (on that's almond or cashew based & is spreadable)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
- salt & pepper
- light-flavoured vegetable oil
- In a medium fry-pan, add a drizzle of garlic oil (or regular olive oil) along with the spring onion and chopped herbs. Saute over low heat, until the greens have wilted down. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your squeezed-dry tofu. Using your finger tips or a pastry cutter (which makes easy work of things) crumble the tofu into a mince like consistency. Add the nut cheese to the tofu and mash/mix until combined.
- Add the cumin seeds, lemon, wilted herbs and amble salt & pepper to the bowl and mix to combine - breaking up any clumps of herbs so they are evenly dispersed in the mixture.
- Heat a glug of light-flavoured vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and while that's heating up shape your patties by taking (as much as you desire, although I worked with) 1/4 cup of the mixture in your hands, squeezing it tightly between your palms to compact it (and whereby sticking it together), and shaping it into a neat little pattie shape before popping into the hot pan. Don't crowd the pan when cooking these, and don't fuss over them. They will hold together fine if you just flip them gently, once.
- Cook over medium heat until golden brown on each side (approx. 5 minutes), adding additional oil to the pan as required. Set the cooked patties aside on a plate lined with paper towel & repeat with the remaining mixture. Eat immediately or within 3 days.