I have been branching out a bit from recipes lately. Experimenting, pushing the boundaries, using recipes as guides. I am learning more what can be changed and what should not and thankfully soups, salads and sandwiches are very forgiving.
After gobbling up the last of my Spicy Artichoke Heart Dip, I knew it could be used for more than just a dip. It would be a delicious spread. Even simply as an antipasto, but I wanted to combine flavours.
Red pepper, check. To roast or not to roast? Not to roast.
A bean perhaps? Chickpeas? Nah, let’s go with tofu.
Tofu is a blank slate, so an Italian-inspired lemon-rosemary baked tofu seemed like a good complementary panel of flavours.
But then the question, how to assemble? Tortillas? Nah… I rummaged in my cabinet and found rice paper rolls. I should probably be scared of food that is still good years after I have bought them, but do not fear the rice paper roll. Only fear them as leftovers, because they don’t like to be eaten the next day.
So, the first day, I assembled the ingredients into fresh rice paper rolls. The next day, I deconstructed the roll into a salad. I just stuffed the spinach, red pepper, tofu and dip together in a container and brought it to work as a salad. The dip was silky enough to coat the spinach as a dressing. The tofu made it a satisfying main meal. And while I didn’t photograph it as a salad, that was probably my preferred, least stressful way to eat it.
But really, do not fear the rice paper rolls.
Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls
1 recipe Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu (see below)
4-6 rice paper rolls (alternatively, turn this into a more traditional wrap with whole wheat tortillas)
2 cups baby spinach
1 red pepper, sliced
1/4 recipe Spicy Artichoke Heart Dip (or could substitute 1/2 15-oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, well drained)
1. First, start off by making the Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu. It can be made ahead of time, chilled before using.
2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1-2″ of water. Wet a cloth for assembling the rice paper rolls and lay flat over your working area.
3. For each rice paper roll, immerse the dry roll in the warm water for 5 seconds, and then transport and lay on top of a wet cloth. In a line in the middle of the wrapper, add a small handful of spinach, 2-3 tbsp of artichoke heart dip, a few strips of the baked tofu and red pepper. Roll up the wrapper from your side first, flip in the edges and continue to roll it closed. Cover with another wet towel as you assemble the remainder of the rolls.
Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu
1/2 pound firm tofu, drained and pressed
1.5 tbsp lemon juice (half a lemon)
1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (or 1.5 tbsp fresh rosemary)
2 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven 350F.
2. Once pressed, cut tofu into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch slices and lay in single layer on the bottom of a large baking dish.
3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together remaining ingredients for the marinade.
4. Pour marinade over tofu. Let soak for as long as you want, preferably at least 30 minutes, flipping once.
5. Bake at 350F, turning gently once, for 30 to 40 minutes until tofu is nicely browned and marinade is absorbed. You may also grill them.
*Note: These baked tofu slices can be served as a main dish with a side salad as well, but I put them in my wrap. They would also be a wonderful topping for a a salad.