Bon Appétit (January 2013)
Back in July, we spent a wonderful July 4th week at the beach in Provincetown, Mass. As it turned out, we knew tons of other people vacationing in P-town that week, too. (The gays like to travel in herds, you know.)
Anyway, we spent the week biking to the beach, meeting friends for lunch and hopping around various house parties. It was all super fun.
One afternoon while we were there, our friends Sean and Nathan texted to invite us over for brunch the next day. "Sounds great!" we texted back. "See you then!"
Then the horror hit us: Sean and Nathan are vegans.
A vegan brunch? On vacation at the beach?
Were we being punished?
We chatted and drank coffee and vegan mimosas (fun fact: they're the same as regular mimosas) while Sean started the tofu. Before we knew it, the most heavenly aromas were streaming from the stove top -- sauteing onions, sizzling peppers.
When we finally sat down to take a bite, color us shocked: It was delicious. Beyond delicious. The tofu scramble was light and airy and flavorful. In the moment, we thought it was better than scrambled eggs. We were converts. We loved Sean's tofu scramble.
This, unfortunately, is not Sean's tofu scramble.
We're not sure what spices Sean put in his, but the spices in this version of the dish didn't make us fall in love. Don't get us wrong -- coriander and cumin are great, we just don't ever really associate them with breakfast. And the turmeric ... well, like we said, we didn't love it.
As a whole, this just fell a little flat for us. The taste was okay, the texture wasn't great. (We did not serve it with the black beans and tortillas. We're sure that would have made it better, as would the optional suggestions of avocado, salsa, cheddar cheese and hot sauce. But at some point, you know, you're just eating toppings and condiments.)
Was there something magical about Sean and Nathan's tofu scramble? Maybe. Was there something magical about a languid brunchy beachfront vacation tofu scramble? Very possible.
Are you a tofu scramble fan? What's your go-to recipe? Let us know in the comments!
2 14-ounce blocks extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4-6 whole wheat tortillas, warmed
Garnishes: salsa, chopped avocado, grated cheddar, sliced scallions, and hot pepper sauce (optional)
Place tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels (to absorb liquid). Using a fork or potato masher, smash tofu.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in coriander and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tofu, then turmeric. Add beans; cook, stirring often, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
Serve scramble with tortillas and garnishes, as desired.