When I first went vegetarian, eons ago, Charlotte restaurants didn’t offer many vegetarian choices. But Greek Salads were the rage, and they were on the menu of almost every restaurant – from trendy, yuppie restaurants (yes, this was the ’90s … I told you it was eons ago) like Village Tavern and Red Rocks, to greasy spoons like Charlotte Cafe.
Fortunately for me, I loooved Greek Salad. The tanginess and saltiness of the kalamata olives and feta cheese, the mildly spicy pepperoncini, the oh-so-slight sharp bite of red onion. All combined with lots of fresh, juicy tomato and served (usually) over mixed greens or spinach. I remember a few restaurants even added artichoke hearts or a stuffed grape leaf on the side.
Those beloved salads in the earliest days of my veg journey were the inspiration for my latest tofu scramble creation: Greek Tofu Scramble. This scramble combines all the ingredients in a Greek Salad – except for the cheese, of course! But you won’t miss the feta – the herbed tofu is surprisingly reminiscent of feta. If you loved Greek salad in your former omnivore life you’ll love this scramble.
Ingredients for Greek Tofu Scramble:
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed
1 TBL Olive Oil (more if needed)
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 Teaspoons dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon dried Basil
1 Teaspoon dried Parsley
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric (optional, see notes)
14 Cherry/Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives, halved
1/2 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, cut in bite-sized pieces (or 1 6-oz. can if you can find one)
5 Pepperoncini Peppers, sliced into thin rings
6 oz. Fresh Spinach (about 1 small bag)
Sea Salt, to taste
Directions for Greek Tofu Scramble:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions.
Cook about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.
Add all the spices, except salt. (Oregano, basil, parsley, turmeric.) Stir briefly.
Quickly, so the spices don’t burn, crumble the tofu by handfuls into the skillet. Stir until the tofu is evenly coated with spices.
Add the tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, and pepperoncini. Stir only enough to make sure the vegetables are evenly distributed through the tofu. (You don’t want to stir too enthusiastically and have the artichoke hearts completely fall apart – although they will fall apart, a little. That’s fine.)
Cook until the tofu and tomatoes are heated through, stirring occasionally.
Add the fresh spinach to the pan in handfuls, gently stir, and cover the pan until the spinach wilts and you can add another handful. Repeat the process until all spinach has been added and is slightly wilted.
Taste; do you need to add any salt? Olives and pepperoncini can be quite salty, so you may not need any extra.
Remove pan from heat and serve immediately, with tortillas or toast.
I like using turmeric in breakfast scrambles because it turns the tofu such an appetizing yellow (and makes the tofu scramble look like a more familiar egg scramble). However, since the tofu in this scramble ends up tasting a lot like feta cheese, which is white, it’s ok to skip the turmeric – especially if you’re making this scramble for lunch or dinner.
If you don’t mind an extra pot, you may prefer steaming the spinach separately and adding it to the tofu at the end. Spinach tends to release a lot of water, so steaming it separately keeps your tofu a little firmer and less watery. If you do cook the spinach with the tofu and wind up with excess liquid, simply use a slotted spoon when serving.