Curried Tofu and Butternut Squash Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Vegan Feta Aioli

 

tofu squash sandwich (2)

Every time I get a butternut squash, I agonize over what to do with it. It is my favorite of all the winter squashes because it’s not as sweet as the others. I love the creaminess of this squash and it is so versatile which is why I struggle over what to do with it.

In the past, I have made Curried Butternut Squash BisquePenne with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash, Kale and Hazelnuts, Gnocchi with Kale, Butternut Squash and Vegan Mozzarella and Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas. The sweetness of the squash just begs for it to be cooked with spicy flavors like chile powder, paprika and curry powder.

This time I was in the mood for a sandwich. I was thinking about making butternut squash and caramelized onions sandwiches but then I asked Tom what he would like and he wanted tofu in the sandwiches. That’s how it became the sandwich it is.

tofu squash sandwich (10) The butternut squash is seasoned with curry powder and paprika and roasted until tender.

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The tofu is seasoned with curry powder and pan-fried until crisp.

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The onions are caramelized until soft and sweet.

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To complete the balance of flavors, I mixed tofu feta into vegan mayo with a little hot sauce to make a salty and spicy aioli. It all got layered on crunchy toast with some lettuce. If I had had fresh spinach, I would have used that but all I had was lettuce.

tofu squash sandwich (13) This sandwich was amazing. Crispy tofu, tender squash, sweet onions, salty aioli, spicy flavors all on crunchy toast. This was definitely a good use of my butternut squash. This sandwich is going into our rotation of favorite dishes. I hope you like it too! Enjoy!

Curried Tofu and Butternut Squash Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Vegan Feta Aioli

GF if using gluten-free bread
Makes 4 sandwiches

  tofu squash sandwich (6)

For the caramelized onions­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper

Garlic powder

 

For the butternut squash

½ butternut squash

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. paprika

Kosher salt and black pepper

 

For the tofu­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained

¼ cup chickpea flour

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

 

For the sandwich­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/3 cup vegan feta cheese

2-3 tsp. hot sauce

Kosher salt to taste

8 slices gluten-free bread

Lettuce

 

To make the caramelized onions: In a skillet or deep saute pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook, tossing frequently, until they just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, while the onions shrink in size and soften. You do not want them to turn brown. Cover the pan to help them along. It should take about 30 minutes for the onions to become shrunken, soft and sweet. When they are done, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.

To make the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half so that you separate the long neck from the round part of the squash. We will only use the long part; you can chop the round part into cubes and freeze for later use. Or make fries – I love butternut squash fries. Cut the tip off the neck of the squash and then cut the neck into 4 slices. If you are using a really big squash, you can cut the neck into 8 thinner slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the slices with oil and season with the curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  Roast the squash until browned and tender, about 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through. You want the squash to be tender but not super-soft. When it’s done, remove from the oven and set aside.

To make the tofu: Cut the block of tofu in half, width-wise, and then cut each half into 4 slices for a total of 8 thin slices. Place the flour in a shallow dish or bowl and season with the curry powder and salt. Lightly coat the tofu slices in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu slices in the skillet until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. You will need to cook the tofu in batches. Transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

To make the aioli: In a small bowl, mix the mayo and the tofu feta. Stir in the hot sauce and taste for seasoning adjustments. Add salt if necessary. Toast the bread to your desired crispness.

To assemble the sandwiches: Slather the aioli on the toasted bread. On one slice of bread, layer the lettuce, a slice of butternut squash, two slices of tofu and the caramelized onions. Top with another slice of bread. Repeat to make the remaining sandwiches.

tofu squash sandwich (12)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

Curried Tofu and Butternut Squash Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Vegan Feta Aioli
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
 
Ingredients
  • For the caramelized onions
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • For the butternut squash
  • ½ butternut squash
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • For the tofu
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • For the sandwich
  • ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup vegan feta cheese
  • 2-3 tsp. hot sauce
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 8 slices gluten-free bread
  • Lettuce
Instructions
  1. To make the caramelized onions: In a skillet or deep saute pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook, tossing frequently, until they just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, while the onions shrink in size and soften. You do not want them to turn brown. Cover the pan to help them along. It should take about 30 minutes for the onions to become shrunken, soft and sweet. When they are done, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half so that you separate the long neck from the round part of the squash. We will only use the long part; you can chop the round part into cubes and freeze for later use. Cut the tip off the neck of the squash and then cut the neck into 4 slices. If you are using a really big squash, you can cut the neck into 8 thinner slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the slices with oil and season with the curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Roast the squash until browned and tender, about 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through. You want the squash to be tender but not super-soft. When it’s done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. To make the tofu: Cut the block of tofu in half, width-wise, and then cut each half into 4 slices for a total of 8 thin slices. Place the flour in a shallow dish or bowl and season with the curry powder and salt. Lightly coat the tofu slices in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu slices in the skillet until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. You will need to cook the tofu in batches. Transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  4. To make the aioli: In a small bowl, mix the mayo and the tofu feta. Stir in the hot sauce and taste for seasoning adjustments. Add salt if necessary. Toast the bread to your desired crispness.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches: Slather the aioli on the toasted bread. On one slice of bread, layer the lettuce, a slice of butternut squash, two slices of tofu and the caramelized onions. Top with another slice of bread. Repeat to make the remaining sandwiches.

 

 

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