By Chef Sara
Benedict is back on the menu! My compassionate take on this classic brunch dish uses pan-fried tofu instead of eggs, garlicky spinach instead of Canadian bacon, and a creamy, dreamy Cashew Hollandaise instead of the traditional egg- and dairy-laden version. Serve over vegan English muffins or toast, gluten-free if desired. This recipe is easy to scale up, so you can make brunch for a crowd. Serve one or two Benedicts per person, depending on appetites and how many other dishes you’re serving.
This recipe for Tofu Benedict will be the star attraction of your next brunch. Enjoy!
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in water for 4 to 8 hours
Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
2 to 4 tablespoons vegan butter (use the higher quantity for a super-rich sauce)
½ to 1 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted vegan butter, such as Miyoko’s Creamery brand, use the higher quantity of salt)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup boiling water
Greens and Tofu
4 vegan English muffins, split, or 8 slices bread of your choice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cups baby spinach or lacinato kale leaves, coarsely chopped
2 packages extra-firm or super-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch slices and patted dry (if you like, use a round cookie cutter to make tofu rounds; reserve the edges for another use)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Smoked paprika, for garnish
First, make the Cashew Hollandaise. Drain and rinse the cashews, and place in a blender. Add the lemon juice, vegan butter, salt, mustard, turmeric, and cayenne, then pour in the boiling water. Blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until perfectly smooth and creamy. Taste, adjust salt as needed, and set aside until needed. [To make ahead, store the finished sauce in the refrigerator, then reheat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat, stirring constantly.]
When ready to serve, lightly toast the English muffin halves or bread and place one or two on each plate. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the greens, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, just until wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes. Divide the cooked greens evenly onto the toasted muffins or bread.
Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the tofu slices with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pan-fry the slices for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place one piece of tofu on each English muffin, or two on each piece of toast.
Warm the hollandaise sauce if necessary (I do this by blending in the blender for a couple minutes), then pour generously over each serving. Garnish with smoked paprika, and serve immediately.