Mild tofu takes on flavours well, so tossing it with chili powder and cumin, a curry blend or your favourite dry barbecue rub before roasting is always a good idea. Starting it in a hot pan will give it a crispier edge; otherwise you could roast it along with the chickpeas, as long as you don’t crowd the pan, which would keep it from getting crisp.

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Photo by Tracey Kusiewicz

Seared Tofu with Greens and Crispy Chickpeas

Serves 4

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pkg extra-firm tofu (250 g)
  • 3 to 4 kale leaves
  • 1 can chickpeas (540 mL), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Salt, to taste

Pour about ⅓ cup of oil into a small ramekin and add garlic; swirl it around to infuse while you preheat oven to 425˚F. Put the block of tofu on a paper towel-lined plate, top with a double thickness of paper towel, and put a skillet or other weighted object on top. (The more moisture you get rid of, the crispier it will get.)

Meanwhile, rinse and drain chickpeas well and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with some of the garlicky oil and shake around to coat. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Slide into oven.

Cut tofu into ½- to 1-inch cubes and place in the same bowl. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and salt; shake to coat. Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add another generous pour of oil and cook tofu cubes, turning often, until they start to turn deep golden. Add to baking sheet, shaking the chickpeas around as you do. Return to oven for about 10 minutes, until both are crisp and golden.

Tear kale into same bowl, discarding stems. Drizzle with a little more oil (just regular oil, if the garlic oil has been used up) and sprinkle with salt. Rub and scrunch the leaves up with your hands to coat. Cook in the hot skillet for a few minutes or lay over the chickpeas and tofu in the oven for a few minutes, until wilted and crispy-edged. Toss together and serve.