Marlen Wensel, Apricot Sun

This original recipe from Apricot Sun takes full advantage of the wonderful flavors of Zaatar. And like everything Marlen makes, it is very healthful… only 283 calories but a whopping 17 grams of protein per serving!

Crispy Pressed Tofu with Garlic and Zaatar

From our own BRFM Vendor Apricot Sun


  • 2- (14 or 19 oz.) packages extra firm tofu
  • 3 large garlic cloves- crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more to season
  • 4 tbsp Zaatar Spread- original flavor, plus more for sandwich base
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (same lemons used for the zest will be used)
  • 2 tsp HOT Zaatar seasoning (or red crushed pepper); spice level is medium
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • Sliced sandwich bread, or gluten-free
  • Washed and sliced cucumber, tomato, and lettuce or avocado to layer on the sandwich

To Prepare

  1. Slice each piece of tofu crosswise into 4 (1/2-inch) thick slabs.
  2. Place a strainer in a ball.
  3. Gently add the sliced tofu to the strainer
  4. While the excess water is draining prepare the marinade.
  5. For the marinade and in a medium sized ball whisk together crushed garlic, salt, Zaatar Spread, lemon zest, lemon juice, HOT Zaatar seasoning, and ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil minus a couple of tablespoons. Set aside.
  6. Press the tofu with a cheese cloth or paper-towels to remove the remainder of the water. You can wring the paper-towels and reuse.
  7. In about 8×8 Pyrex or container spoon a portion of the marinade. Add the tofu, then spoon remainder of the marinade until evenly covered. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up-to 24 hours.

To Cook

When you are ready to cook, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes. Gently lift the tofu from the marinade and place it in the pan.  Reserve the marinade.  Weight the tofu by placing a smaller pan with a clean bottom on top and weighting it down with a couple of heavy cans of tomato or other.  Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the tofu is well browned, about 3 more minutes. Flip the tofu over, put the weight back on top, and cook until the tofu is browned on the second side and cooked through, about 6-8 more minutes.

Transfer the tofu to a serving platter. Pour the oil out of the pan, then add the reserved marinade.  Stir and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan; pour over the tofu.  Let it sit for a few minutes to cool.

Warm the sliced bread and coat with a layer- about 1 tablespoon or more of Zaatar Spread. Layer with lettuce, sliced cucumber, then sliced tomato, followed by the tofu slab.  Drizzle with more oil from the sauce.  Serve either whole or divided into 4 sharable pieces.

Other ideas for serving:  served with a side of rice or couscous and roasted vegetables.

Sahtain! To your Health.




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