Pea Spread with Smoky Marinated Tofu

butterfly Serves: 4

Written By Eydie Desser


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This is a super special St.Patrick’s day, or anytime spread.  I love taking fabulous chefs’ recipes and making them plant-based, SOS (salt, oil, sugar) free and all around healthier. The original recipe is Yotum Ottolenghi’s Pea Spread with Smoky Marinated Feta, which calls for 2400 calories worth of oil. We substitute tofu for the feta and use just 1 tablespoon of oil to bloom the spices, along with chickpea liquid for the marinade.  Although the recipe is not completely oil free, it’s really close, and will not sacrifice your health!


For the Tofu Marinade:
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half 
  • 1 lemon, skin peeled in 6 large strips, leaving white pith behind 
  • 4 bay Leaves 
  • 2-½ teaspoons chipotle chili flakes 
  • 1-¼ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1 cup liquid from 15 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 7 ounces or ½ pack of firm tofu, cut to ¼ inch dice
For the Pea Spread:
  • 20 ounces frozen peas, defrosted 
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 1 lemon: 1-½ teaspoon finely grated zest, 2 tablespoons juice 
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle


Make the Marinade:
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed, medium sized pan, over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the following ingredients: add garlic cloves and char on both sides, about 2-3 minutes; add lemon zest strips and bay leaves and let char for 1-½ minutes; add smoked paprika and chili flakes and toast for 30 seconds.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add chickpea liquid.  It will bubble up. Once it stops bubbling, remove marinade from the pan and place in a bowl, to cool. Once cool, add diced tofu, and marinate for at least a couple of hours. Can be made in advance, just cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Make the Pea Spread:

Add the peas, tarragon, mint, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, pinch of salt, (if using), and a bit of freshly ground black pepper to a food processor.  Pulse a few times until it forms a coarse paste.  Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon or pepper if necessary.

To Serve:

Spread the pea mixture onto a plate and top with the marinated tofu,* and a few tablespoons of the marinade.  Add some of the garlic cloves and lemon strips. Then sprinkle the dish with ground cumin seeds.

butterfly Cook's Notes:

You may not need to use all of the marinated tofu.  Serve the leftovers on whole grain toast or add to a salad.

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