This will officially become your new favorite way to prepare tofu. We coated slabs of it in nutritional yeast—a flavorful, nutrient-rich ingredient with savory, cheesy flavor—then pan-fried it in olive oil until deeply brown and crispy (reminiscent of halloumi). Cooking the lentils with sautéed leeks adds flavor to what is often seen as a boring ingredient. To top it all off, we cooked cherry tomatoes until right before they burst so that they can act as a fresh, juicy sauce on your plate. With so much going for it, you’ll never believe this dish has just 5 ingredients.
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1¾ teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper, divided
1 cup brown or green lentils
2 cups water
2 14-oz. blocks extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
⅔ cup nutritional yeast
2 pints cherry tomatoes
How to Make It
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over medium. Add leek and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until lentils are tender, 16 to 18 minutes. Drain any excess water.
Slice each block of tofu lengthwise into 8 ½-inch strips. Season both sides with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Combine nutritional yeast and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dip each tofu strip in nutritional yeast mixture, flipping to coat both sides and pressing to adhere.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half the tofu strips and cook, flipping once, until deeply golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining tofu.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. Add tomatoes and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until tomatoes begin to wrinkle and burst, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve tofu with lentils and top with tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.
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