Caesar Pesto Tofu

2 Dinners
25 min

I never thought I’d eat tofu much less love to eat tofu.

As it turns out, there are all different kinds of tofu, and saying you don’t like tofu is like trying chicken masala, not liking it, and then saying you don’t like chicken at all.

In this recipe, I’ve marinated bite sized pieces of extra firm tofu overnight in a pesto sauce, then air fried it into crispy crouton-like pieces ( option to bake it if you don’t have an air fryer).

I’ve also deconstructed the salad by cutting the romaine in half and searing it in a hot pan for a few minutes, then topping it with a corn and sun-dried tomato salsa, the tofu “croutons” and a homemade vegan Caesar dressing that takes a hot second to bring together.

I had a friend to dinner who thought the plate pictured was for sharing. He was wrong.😊

Super easy to make and you can definitely swap out the protein source if tofu is not your thing.

Get a nice, golden brown sear on the romaine and it will take the idea of salad to a whole new level!

I am not ashamed to admit that I actually did, in fact, eat the whole thing!

Recipe details
  • 2  Dinners
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese ( I used vegan)
  • 1 cup milk of choice ( I used almond)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic ( about 2-3 cloves)
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cups of corn
  • 1/2 lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes and marinated in pesto
  • hemp seeds (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée till smooth and creamy.
Toss the tofu in a few spoonfuls of arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca flour, then place in an air fryer set at 400 for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the tofu is cooking, chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to a hot pan with the corn. Sauté in the oil from the tomatoes ( you can add a bit more oil if they start to stick) for a minute or two to heat and lightly toast the corn, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan ( you might need to add a very light coating of oil if your pan isn’t non-stick) place the romaine, cut side down and sear a minute or two till golden.
To serve, place the lettuce cut side up on a plate. Top with the corn and tomato mixture and the tofu. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the hemp seeds on top.
  • You can use regular tomatoes instead of sun-dried
  • Make a simple pesto using only basil, lemon juice and oil with a pinch of salt or use a store-bought pesto.
  • If you don’t want the tofu, swap it out for another protein source or just leave it off altogether.
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  • Amanda Connelly Amanda Connelly on Aug 09, 2021

    This has me thinking I should give tofu one more try. This looks so good!

    • I would definitely recommend this as a good (re)introduction to tofu. If you bake it long enough or air fry it, it really developed a meat-like consistency. The air fryer even gives it a crunchy texture if you toss it in a bit of cornstarch or arrowroot first. I use the extra-firm, high protein tofu that they sell at Whole Foods.

  • Nandini Nandini on Jul 15, 2023

    Sounds and looks so yummy, can’t wait to try it. The extra firm protein tofu is quite different from just regular extra firm tofu, Trader Joe also sells it. My son’s m in law makes tofu steaks with this very firm tofu that has a black coating similar to a cheese rind and this tofu is the closest I can get here. She shops at a Chinese store in the DC area, my store in NY has never sold it.

    • I usually get the high protein extra firm tofu from Mom’s Market or Whole Foods. I’ve never tried the kind with a rind, but I’m sure it would work in this recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe though no matter what kind of tofu you use!😊