Photo: Kelly Rossiter
There is an organization in my very neighbourhood called FoodShare that has been working to provide good food for everyone. They provide services to the community including education about sustainable food systems and urban agriculture. They have a greenhouse, an education centre, a garden, and a huge compost centre. And that's just for starters. They have also been involved with creating healthy menus for high school cafeterias across the city. As most people know, most high school cafeterias are rife with burgers and chips with gravy, doughnuts and plenty of sugary soft drinks. Food Share has come up with a vegetable sub that it hopes will steer kids away from the kind of crap that they usually eat. They even won the Toronto Star's Golden Whisk Award for the recipe.
I gave it a try and made it for the campaign workers I was cooking for, who as young adults aren't that far removed from the high school life. As far as I can tell, it was a big hit. I used small baguettes sliced in half, but you could make sandwiches with regular bread or with buns if you like. The garlic tofu dressing, which I thought was fantastic, was the base, and then they layered it with some lettuce, grated zucchini and grated carrot, some pickles, some cheese, and some roasted red pepper vinaigrette in place of ketchup. I made the red pepper vinaigrette with my preserved red peppers.
The beauty of this sandwich is that you can use the two recipes below and then adapt it to whatever is in season. I made it as suggested and topped it with tomato slices, from my garden. Then I added my homemade bread and butter pickles, the red pepper vinaigrette and some grated cheddar cheese. For a vegan sandwich, leave the cheese off. Believe me, there is plenty of flavour here without it. I could see eating this garlic tofu dressing on toast, just by itself, for breakfast.
3/4 cup crumbled regular or medium tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 tbsp white (shiro) miso paste
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. In blender or food processor, combine tofu, oil, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, miso, dijon, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Refrigerate in covered container until ready to use.
Makes about 1 cup.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
2 red bell peppers
1/2 head garlic, top trimmed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or white vinegar
1-1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1. Rub peppers with olive oil. Place on baking sheet, along with garlic. Bake in preheated 400F oven, turning peppers occasionally, until skin blackens, about 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Cool red peppers slightly. Discard blackened skin and seeds. Place flesh in food processor.
3. Squeeze roasted garlic into bowl, discarding skin. Add to food processor with lemon, vinegar, dijon and honey. Pulse until smooth. With motor running, slowly pour in sunflower oil.
Makes about 2 cups