Pecan and Coconut Encrusted Tofu with Raw Cranberry Relish

I have been making this dish for special occasions for many years per the request of my husband. This is one of my favorite go to special occasion recipes, and now it is yours. It is slightly more labor intensive than most of my other recipes, but it is so worth the extra effort! This recipe is inspired by a cooking class I did years ago with Mark Reinfeld.

I usually serve this with a wild rice salad, but this past year I made mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it, along with pan roasted Brussel's sprouts. The chutney is a perfect compliment to the tofu.

Tofu Marinade

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 14 –ounce package extra firm tofu, drained well  (I drain and then wrap it in a tea towel and press to release extra water)

Tahini Spread

¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Coconut Pecan Crust

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
3 tablespoons dried shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt



1.    Preheat oven to 375 F. Place all of the tofu marinade ingredients in a 9 inch by 13 inch casserole dish and stir well.  Slice the tofu lengthwise to form 4 cutlets.  Slice each cutlet in half diagonally to yield 8 triangle shaped cutlets. Place the cutlets in the casserole dish and allow to sit for 5 minutes, flipping occasionally.  Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
2.    Meanwhile, combine the tahini spread ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Depending on the consistency of the tahini, you may need to add some water to get a smooth consistency.
3.    Place all of the crust ingredients in another bowl and stir well.
4.    Remove the tofu from the oven.  Spread a think layer of tahini on each cutlet and top with the pecan crust. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.


Raw Cranberry Relish

Makes ½ cup
½ dried cranberries, soaked for 30 minutes drained
2 Medrol dates, chopped (2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeno
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamom or cinnamon
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or strong blender and quickly pulse chop.