You can’t go wrong serving these kebabs this 4th of July. You can prepare them in advance, and they’re practically a meal unto themselves when served along with couscous, potato salad, or a grain-based dish. And what a great way to showcase summer’s bounty of vegetables!
Tweak the recipe by using whatever vegetables are most exciting to you. Note that this recipe requires a fair amount of advance preparation: freezing and then thawing the tofu; marinating the thawed tofu overnight, and preparing a double batch of Pomegranate-Peach Barbecue Sauce. So you probably want to start prepping this dish on July 2nd.
Summer Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs
28 ounces extra-firm tofu
5 cups barbecue sauce, like a double batch of Pomegranate-Peach Barbecue Sauce
4 ounces small round potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 medium globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large red onion, cut into four pieces vertically, then halved crosswise
Freeze the tofu until solid, then thaw it in the fridge overnight before continuing to prep. (Freezing tofu gives it a chewier texture in addition to increasing its ability to absorb marinades.)
Put the thawed tofu on a plate. Put another plate on top and weight it to press the excess moisture out of the tofu. Let sit for at least 20 minutes (a 28-ounce can of tomatoes works well). Drain away the liquid and cut the tofu into 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Put the tofu and 2 cups of the barbecue sauce in a large bowl and toss gently until the tofu is evenly coated. Transfer all the contents of the bowl to a ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the tofu from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature. Put the potatoes in a small saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat cooking. While the grill is heating, put the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the potatoes, eggplant, green and red bell pepper, and onion, and toss gently until evenly coated.
Next, thread the tofu and vegetables onto 10 metal skewers (or pre-soaked wooden skewers), distributing them evenly among the skewers. Put the remaining 3 cups barbecue sauce in a small saucepan and add any sauce remaining in the ziplock bag. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Brush the grill’s grates with olive oil. Put the kebabs on the grill and cook, brushing with BBQ sauce and turning frequently, until the tofu is lightly charred and the vegetables are fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Serve with the hot barbecue sauce alongside.
Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.