Grab a good loaf of sourdough(*), because we've got business. Breakfast business. Perfect for a weekend morning or brunch, in just about half an hour, you can start your day with a hot, deeply satisfying meal. First up, our savory concoction that layers sourdough, simple seared tofu, beans and onions simmered with molasses (like Boston baked beans for your stovetop), plus a healthy dose of pickled jalapenos.
(*We used Flour Head Knoxville Sourdough for both dishes in this post.)
Because the beans don't get the benefit of a long cook like they normally do in the oven, we made sure to include extra flavor by beginning our beans with a generous portion of browned onions. The results are pretty great for a dish so simple and fast to put together.
Stovetop Boston Beans over Sourdough with Seared Tofu
serves 2, beans adapted from The Vegan Table
For the beans:
1 15-oz can navy beans
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP unsulphured molasses
1 tsp turbinado or brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 TBSP water
1/4 tsp salt
For the tofu:
7 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 3/4-inch slices sourdough (from an 8-inch boule)
Drain and rinse the beans in a sieve. Set aside to drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onions, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add all other bean ingredients and stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to medium-low, and cook 3 minutes more, or until thick but saucy.
While the beans cook, prepare the tofu. Cut a 14-oz slab of tofu (in landscape position) in half. Reserve half for another use. Turn the other half cut-side up and slice into 4 even pieces. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu in a single layer. Whisk together seasoning and sprinkle evenly over the top. Cook tofu 5 minutes, undisturbed. Flip and cook another 4 minutes, until golden.
To assemble, top one slice sourdough with two pieces of tofu, half the beans and onions, and top with pickled jalapenos, to taste.
Now for the sweet stuff. Not really a bread pudding, since there's no custard to bother with, and not really a brown betty, since the bread is in whole slices rather than crumbs, this doesn't really fit any definition we have handy. What it is is totally simple, absolutely gorgeous, and a dish you're positively going to want to swim in. One look at (and whiff of) this jewel-toned beauty, and we promise you'll be hooked. And it couldn't be simpler.
As if this fruity bake weren't already heaven on a spoon, it's blissfully versatile. Not only can you serve this hot, warm, cooled, or chilled, we go easy on the sugar here--just enough to make the berries sing--so feel free to dig into this as a slightly indulgent breakfast. Or brunch, of course. Use a healthy dollop of plain nondairy yogurt with a little fresh nutmeg added (we like Whole Soy Co., and their plain--but sweetened--yogurt is pictured above) to garnish the berry bake, or use the berry bake to garnish a serving of yogurt. Either way, completely stunning.
All the pictures here were taken when the bake was still hot from the oven. For neater serving and more bread-pudding-like presentation, let cool to room temperature before cutting into slices.
And, in case you needed to be told, you can take this sucker all the way into dessert territory by adding whipped coconut cream.
serves 4-6, adapted from Luscious Berry Desserts
1 lb frozen (or fresh) blueberries
12 oz frozen (or fresh) raspberries
1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably grade B)
3 1-inch-thick slices sourdough (from an 8-inch boule), halved
1 TBSP nondairy butter, such as Earth Balance, plus extra for greasing
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
plain nondairy yogurt (sweetened with maple syrup, to taste) or whipped coconut cream (sweetened with a little powdered sugar), plus freshly grated nutmeg, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 350.
Add the berries and maple syrup to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a steady simmer over medium-low, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries are breaking down and the mixture thickens just a bit, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, butter one side of each of the six pieces of bread (you'll use 1/2 tsp per piece). Grease and flour a 6-inch cake pan. Place three pieces of buttered bread on the bottom in a single layer (smoosh them in a little, if needed), butter-side-up.
When the berries are done, remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and carefully pour half the berries into the prepared pan, spreading to distribute evenly. Add the remaining three pieces of bread, butter-side-down. Pour the other half of the berries on top and spread to distribute evenly.
Bake 20 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving, but the bake can be served hot, warm, cool, or chilled. It slices fairly neatly when cool. (If using yogurt or whipped cream, sweeten to taste and stir in a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg before garnishing.)