Lemon-Pepper Tofu With Apricot-Chickpea Salsa


Tofu gets an upgrade in this inventive plant-based dinner.

Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

A fresh and delicious take on tofu is a feat rarely achieved. This recipe manages to be both, thanks to a clever marinade that infuses the planks of tofu with a savory-sweet touch. These nestle into a bed of couscous and get topped with an innovative salsa made with vinegar-soaked apricots, which plumps them up and adds some zing, along with chickpeas, cilantro, garlic, and capers. Bonus: Since you're likely to make it again, the ingredients can be easily stocked for the future thanks to a roster of pantry staples. Easily swap couscous for grains like farro, brown rice, or millet.

lemon-pepper tofu with apricot-chickpea salsa
Greg Dupree


  • 1 14-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves (from 1 bunch), finely chopped

  • .333333 cup jarred nonpareil capers, drained and finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, grated (preferably on a Microplane)

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup plain couscous


  1. Gently press tofu between paper towels to absorb liquid. Slice tofu lengthwise into 4 planks. Cut planks diagonally in half to total 8 pieces. Arrange in an even layer in a large baking dish.

  2. Whisk lemon juice, honey, black pepper, 2 tablespoons oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour mixture over tofu; turn tofu to coat. Wipe bowl clean. Add apricots and vinegar to bowl and stir to combine. Let tofu and apricots stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir cilantro, capers, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in chickpeas, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ cup oil.

  4. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Add couscous and ¼ teaspoon salt; stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  5. Preheat oven to broil with rack 6 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove tofu from marinade and arrange in an even layer on baking sheet (reserve marinade in baking dish). Season tofu evenly on both sides with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Broil until browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Brush tofu with some reserved marinade and flip; brush top sides with marinade. Return to oven. Broil until tofu is browned around edges, 6 to 8 minutes.

  6. Stir apricots and any vinegar left in bowl into cilantro-chickpea mixture. Spread couscous on a platter and top with tofu. Dollop with apricot-chickpea salsa.

    lemon-pepper tofu with apricot-chickpea salsa
    Greg Dupree

Make It Vegan:

Use pure maple syrup in the marinade instead of honey (which isn't considered vegan, since it's a product of bees).

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