Cookbook author Diana Henry’s new release From the Oven to the Table is shaping up to be one of our favorite new fall cookbooks. Why? It’s packed with simple yet flavorful dishes that are both elegant and impressive without being fussy. Her recipe for roasted squash and tofu with soy, honey, chili and ginger is no exception.
“I love the flavors here: sweet and hot,” she writes. “This can be served as a side dish, or as a main course with rice on the side.”
Don’t be put off by the 30 minutes of prep: Most of that time is inactive, as you’ll need to press the tofu. (But don’t skip this step! It’s crucial to getting that gorgeously browned, crisp exterior.) And because everything mingles with the gingery-sweet glaze in the oven, this dish doesn’t really need a sauce for serving—but Henry suggests something spicy and Asian, if you want.
We see a new weeknight go-to in our future.
Excerpted with permission from From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry, published by Octopus Books, 2019.
Veggie Banh Mi Bowls with Crispy Tofu
1 pound extra-firm tofu
2 pounds winter squash (such as kabocha or acorn)
3 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
One ¾-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
8 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
Juice of ½ lime
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the tofu and cut it into ½-inch-thick slices. Put a double layer of paper towels on a cutting board, add the tofu, then put another double layer of paper towels on top. Place another cutting board (or heavy pan) on top of this to weight it. Leave for 20 minutes to press out excess moisture.
2. Halve and seed the squash and cut it into wedges about ½- to ¾-inch thick. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger and 5 tablespoons of the oil.
3. Divide the squash between 2 roasting pans—you can line them with parchment paper if you want, because it makes the dishes easier to clean—and spoon two-thirds of the soy sauce mixture over it. Turn the squash slices over with your hands to coat.
4. Cut the tofu pieces in half and put them in a smaller roasting pan. Spoon the remaining soy sauce mixture over the tofu, turning the pieces in it to coat. Season the squash and tofu with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Using a metal spatula, turn the squash and tofu chunks over. In a small bowl, mix the remaining oil with the garlic and spoon over the squash, then return everything to the oven and roast until the tofu is dark and the squash is burnished and completely tender, 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, arrange the squash and tofu on a warmed serving plate, scatter with the sesame seeds and scallions, and squeeze over the lime juice.