Tomato & Onion Salad with Crispy Tofu

Tofu definitely benefits from a marinade, in this case lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs. In this vegetarian salad recipe, the tofu is pressed first, which concentrates its subtle soy flavor and improves the texture by removing some of the water. But what really makes this recipe special is the Parmesan cheese crust that transforms the tofu into a soft, cheesy crouton.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
4 servings


Crispy Tofu

  • 1 14- to 16-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs


  • 4 ripe medium tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges

  • 2 cups halved and thinly sliced sweet onion

  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives (see Tips)

  • ¼ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • teaspoon kosher salt


  1. To marinate tofu: Cut tofu crosswise into 8 equal pieces and press for 1 to 4 hours (see Tips).

  2. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons basil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Add the pressed tofu and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, turning from time to time.

  3. To prepare salad: Toss tomatoes, onion, olives, 2 tablespoons basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Set aside, tossing occasionally.

  4. To cook tofu: Discard the marinade and pat the tofu dry. Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine Parmesan and panko in a third shallow dish. Dredge the tofu in the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, shaking off excess, then dredge in the cheese mixture, pressing to coat.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half the tofu, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning once, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and tofu.

  6. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Top with the tofu and the remaining 1 tablespoon basil and 1 teaspoon oregano.


To make ahead: Marinate tofu (Steps1-2) for up to 1 day.

Tips: Bright-green Castelyetrano olives have a firm, buttery texture with a mild, sweet taste. From Sicily and ubiquitous in Italy, they're increasingly available stateside. Look for them in well-stocked supermarkets. To press tofu: Cut a 14- to 16-ounce block of tofu crosswise into 8 equal pieces. Place a clean kitchen towel on a baking sheet. Place the tofu on the towel in a single layer; cover with another towel. Place another baking sheet on top and weight it with two 28-ounce cans. Let stand for 1 to 4 hours.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

549 Calories
44g Fat
23g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 549
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 18g 35%
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Vitamin A 1376IU 28%
Vitamin C 28mg 32%
Folate 67mcg 17%
Sodium 641mg 28%
Calcium 442mg 34%
Iron 4mg 22%
Magnesium 65mg 16%
Potassium 587mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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