This is a Sunday morning special, easily used for entertaining as all parts of this dish can be made in advance, and just reheated and put together when you’re ready for it. The bread is delightfully chewy, contrasting well with the soft, creamy spinach making this a very (physically and mentally) satisfying breakfast. There’s something very liberating about feeling ‘normal’, and I got that feeling from this breakfast.
Traditional hollandaise sauce is made predominantly from eggs and huge amounts of butter. Even if I wanted to just substitute vegan margarine for the butter, my tummy couldn’t cope with the quantity of fat called for. My head can’t quite get around the number of calories involved, either. My version isn’t exactly diet-worthy, it is an indulgence, but not one that you’ll be paying for 3 days later! For an even less calorific weekday version, just omit the bread.
If you’re not avoiding eggs, then you can substitute a fried or poached egg for the tofu. However, the tofu has a delightfully chewy texture which adds body to the dish.
Note that the recipe calls for 1 onion layer. You could use a slice, if you wanted to, but I find it easier to remove the onion after it has infused, if there’s only one piece to locate.
Serves ~3 – 6
6 slices Bagel Bread
1 recipe Creamed Spinach (with or without the corn)
For the Hollandaise Sauce:
16 fl oz (2 cups) water
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) cashews
3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 large onion layer (i.e. peel 1/2 a layer from a large onion.)
2″ carrot, finely chopped (for color)
a pinch of allspice/mace
1 big bay leaf
a good pinch of ground pepper
2/3 tsp salt (kala namak, if liked)
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
Remove the bay leaf and onion, transfer the rest to a blender, and blend until smooth.
Pour the blended sauce back into the saucepan, and bring to a simmer to thicken to desired consistency and cook off the harsh part of the vinegar flavor, stirring frequently (5-10 mins).
Adjust consistency with water if necessary. This sauce should be a thick, pourable, cream. Thin enough to flow, but thick enough to coat.
For the Tofu:
14-16 oz firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tbsp margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
First, make sure the surface of your tofu is as dry as you can get it (to stop it from sticking to the pan): leave the drained cubes uncovered in the fridge overnight OR put them on 2 layers of kitchen paper towel wrapped in a cloth kitchen towel for 1/2 an hour.
Heat the margarine over a high heat, and once hot, add the dried tofu, stirring frequently with a thin plastic spatula until the tofu starts to brown. (When it gets to this stage, the tofu is much less likely to stick.) Keep cooking the tofu until browned on most sides, and the texture has changed from somewhat jelly-like to slightly crunchy on the outside, and slightly chewy on the inside. (~10-15 mins)
Sprinkle the seasonings over the tofu, adjust as necessary, and turn off the heat.
Make sure the spinach, tofu, and hollandaise sauce are all hot.
Toast the bagel bread slices in a toaster.
Top each slice with spinach, a handful of tofu, and then spoon the hollandaise sauce over the top.