• Chimichuri kabobs

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    I looked up chimichurri on the Internet the other night. One website says that it is “a piquant sauce or marinade traditionally used in South American and Mexican cooking.” Another definition says that it is used as a marinade for or topping on grilled meat. There was nothing in any of the definitions that indicated it was used in vegetarian cooking. I took that as a challenge. Why can’t a sauce, I thought, that is made with fresh ingredients such as parsley, garlic, oregano leaves, red pepper flakes, olive oil and red wine vinegar be used on barbecued tofu? I decided that there was no reason at all that it can’t.

    Even meat lovers will like this recipe for tofu kabobs with chimichurri sauce. Make the sauce the day before you barbecue for maximum flavor.

    Chimichurri Ingredients:
    2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley (no stems)
    4 medium garlic cloves (minced)
    4 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
    ¼ cup red wine vinegar
    ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    ½ teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Kabob Ingredients:
    14 ounces extra firm organic tofu (cut into 1½-inch cubes)
    7  to 8 bamboo skewers

    Chimichurri Directions:
    Place parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. I use a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus. Process for about 60 seconds or until finely chopped.

    With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to blend. Before serving, stir and season with salt and/or pepper as needed.

    Kabob Directions:
    Preheat grill to high heat.

    Place tofu cubes in a large baggie and add 4 tablespoons Chimichurri sauce. Shake cubes to cover with sauce and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Allow tofu to marinate in the baggie for about 20 minutes.

    Thread marinated tofu cubes onto bamboo skewers. Grill for 2 to3 minutes on each side. The tofu should be slightly charred and beginning to crisp. Remove skewers to a serving platter and drizzle a little more sauce on each skewer. Transfer remaining sauce to a small bowl and bring to the table as a condiment.

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