Grilled Mediterranean Tofu Skewers With Green Olive Relish Recipe

The Mediterranean diet is known for its flavorful fresh food brimming with health benefits, and these grilled Mediterranean tofu skewers are no exception. Bringing ripe produce, fresh herbs, and hearty tofu together with a smoky charred element from the grill, these skewers simply scream summertime. Marinating the tofu and vegetables in a zesty mixture featuring lemon, garlic, dill, and Dijon is the secret to locking in that Mediterranean taste, and topping the finished skewers with a salty and tangy olive relish takes this meal over the top.

"I grew up with Mediterranean cooking and use a lot of the meals I had as a child as a foundation for my cooking today," wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn tells us." Almost all of my recipes contain fresh herbs which elevate any dish, so I use them freely." Once your skewers are done cooking, it's up to you how to serve — keep them on the sticks and plate them atop a bed of rice, or remove the goodies from the sticks and dive right in.

Gather the ingredients for grilled Mediterranean tofu skewers with green olive relish

To make this recipe, start in the produce aisle and pick up lemons, shallots, garlic, dill, chives, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, fresh basil, and extra firm tofu. "Since dill, chives, and basil thrive in similar growing conditions, it's the perfect recipe to make if you have a summer garden," Hahn notes.

Then head to the dry goods area and grab canned artichoke hearts, castelvetrano olives, medium green ripe olives, and capers. No need to buy marinated artichokes here since we are creating our own marinade. Finally, check your condiment cabinet for olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Step 1: Make the marinade

In a small bowl combine ½ cup olive oil, zest and juice of 1 lemon, shallots, 1 crushed garlic clove, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon dill, chives, salt, and pepper.

Step 2: Toss the vegetables and tofu with the marinade

Put the tofu, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, and artichoke hearts into a large bowl and toss with marinade.

Step 3: Cover and refrigerate

Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 4: Make the olive relish

Add the olives, capers, remaining olive oil, remaining garlic, remaining lemon zest and juice, remaining dill, and basil to a food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky mixture. Set aside.

Step 5: Preheat the grill

When the vegetables and tofu are almost done marinating, preheat the grill to medium-high.

Step 6: Assemble the skewers

Thread the tofu and vegetables on to 4 metal skewers and place on the grill.

Step 7: Put skewers on the grill

Cook for 12 minutes on each side or until the vegetables and tofu are browned.

Step 8: Add relish and serve

Serve with green olive relish, remaining marinade, and optional rice.

Grilled Mediterranean Tofu Skewers With Green Olive Relish Recipe
No Ratings
Grill up a vegan feast with this Mediterranean tofu skewers recipe, which also comes garnished with a tangy olive relish.
Prep Time
1.17
hours
Cook Time
24
minutes
Servings
0
24
skewers on plate with lemon
Total time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons, divided
  • zest and juice of 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) package of extra firm tofu, pressed for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1 thickly sliced zucchini
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick chunks
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup pitted castelvetrano olives
  • 1 cup pitted medium green ripe olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
Directions
  1. In a small bowl combine ½ cup olive oil, zest and juice of 1 lemon, shallots, 1 crushed garlic clove, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon dill, chives, salt, and pepper.
  2. Put the tofu, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, and artichoke hearts into a large bowl and toss with marinade.
  3. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Add the olives, capers, remaining olive oil, remaining garlic, remaining lemon zest and juice, remaining dill, and basil to a food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky mixture. Set aside.
  5. When the vegetables and tofu are almost done marinating, preheat the grill to medium-high.
  6. Thread the tofu and vegetables on to 4 metal skewers and place on the grill.
  7. Cook for 12 minutes on each side or until the vegetables and tofu are browned.
  8. Serve with green olive relish, remaining marinade, and optional rice.
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What type of tofu works best for these skewers?

If you have cooked with tofu before you know that there are many options and for the novice tofu user, this can be confusing. When choosing, you will see silken, soft, medium, firm, extra firm, super firm, and pre-baked varieties. Because we are using the grill as our cooking method, we need tofu that will hold its shape on the grill, achieve a crisp exterior, and absorb the marinade.

To check all of those boxes, extra firm is the best choice here. It's soft enough to take in the tangy and flavorful marinade but firm enough to not fall apart on the grill. Because it's packed in water, pressing it is a necessary step. Just remove it from the package and place it in a shallow bowl. Stack a flat plate on top, then place something heavy on the plate. The excess water will drain into the shallow bowl. Let it sit like this for 20 minutes and discard the water.

The other type of tofu that will work here is super firm tofu. The beauty of super firm tofu is it doesn't need to be pressed, but because it is more solid, it won't absorb the marinade quite as well. If you use super firm tofu, it's best to let it marinate for a longer period of time.

Can you make these Mediterranean skewers if you don't have a grill?

If you don't have a grill or just choose to keep the cooking inside, there are a few other cooking methods so you can still enjoy these delicious skewers. The first method is using your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 F and lay the skewers on a sheet pan. Once the oven is heated, bake the skewers for about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables and tofu are browned. You can also use the broiler for a quicker cooking time. Place the skewers on the top rack and broil for about 6-8 minutes, turning once. You'll want to stay close by to make sure they don't burn and avoid using parchment paper anytime you broil as it can catch fire.

The other method for cooking the skewers is to use a large grill pan or cast-iron skillet. Lightly oil the cooking surface and cook the skewers over medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. If you are using a frying pan, you'll have to work in batches. Lastly, if you have a large air fryer that can accommodate the skewer size, you can cook them at 400 F for 12-15 minutes turning halfway.