Italian Tofu Subs

A few months ago I came across a section about tofu in an issue of Food Network Magazine. Having been a vegetarian once-upon-a-time, I was intrigued and added the recipes to my scrapbook. I’ve been planning all this time to try out the recipes, but just kept forgetting to buy tofu. I was clever recently though, and remembered to get some while at Trader Joe’s. As I was trying to decide what to make with the tofu and all the tomatoes I have, I remembered my scrapbook and the lonely, untested, tofu section. I had also just made Italian seasoned breadcrumbs with a baguette that I didn’t want to go bad so I had to find a way to use those too. I was looking over the Tofu Parmesan Subs, and thought it would be fun to try, except of course I would change it.

And isn’t my version lovely?

I didn’t feel like making a sauce since I wanted to use slices of tomatoes, and I’m poor so buying spinach seemed silly. I happened to have leftover mozzarella in my fridge from when I had my friends over, and I also retrieved my herbs from my house last time I visited so I had fresh basil to work with. Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil. How very classic! If nothing else, I know these things all work together, so I fearlessly jumped into my new recipe.

If you’ve ever cooked with tofu before, chances are that it totally sucked. Did the tofu stick to the pan and fall apart? Did the coating slide right off after you thought it was all done? Yes, well, these have been frequent issues of mine. If it’s never happened to you, then I hate you. Luckily, my new skillets are amazing and since I bought them I have had no tofu issues. I’m no longer paranoid about making sure they’re crazy dry before cooking, I just do a little towel drying then go for it. These skillets are kinda pricey, but I adore them and it’s worth it. It also helps that I used my prize money from the Food Network to buy them :)

Look at how perfectly it cooks a thin, crunchy coating

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1 15oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced into 8 pieces
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
½ cup Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan) grated cheese
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 sub rolls, about 6 inches long
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tomatoes, sliced
~24 basil leaves

Towel dry tofu pieces.

Place them on top of towels,

Then put more on top, and weigh them down with a plate

Meanwhile, whisk 2 eggs in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs and Romano cheese on a large plate. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large, non-stick skillet. Dip the tofu in eggs,

then coat in breadcrumbs,

and place into heated skillet. Do 4 slices of tofu at a time.

Cook until crisp, flipping only once or twice. Set finished pieces aside, add 2 more Tbsp oil and repeat with remaining tofu.

Heat oven to 425. Slice rolls in half and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella, and drizzle some olive oil on top.

Bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

Layer on roll: tofu, slices of tomato, and basil. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil if desired. Put other half on top, and repeat with the other subs.