Summer Vegetable & Tofu Kebabs with Pomegranate-Peach BBQ Sauce

Meat doesn’t always have to be the centrepiece of your backyard summer soiree. Eco-chef Bryant Terry is king at elevating veggies past side-dish status, and his recently released fourth cookbook, Afro-Vegan, is a bumper crop of all-vegetable recipes with African, Caribbean and Southern spins. These vegetable and tofu kebabs, for example, may seem like standard BBQ staples, but when paired with Terry’s sweet and tangy pomegranate-peach barbecue sauce, you’ll see a new spectrum of greens.

INGREDIENTS
– 28 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
– 5 cups Pomegranate-Peach Barbecue Sauce
– 4 ounces small round potatoes, halved
– 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling
– 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 large clove garlic, minced
– 1 tsp coarse sea salt
– Pinch of cayenne pepper
– 1 globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch chunks
– 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
– 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
– 1 large red onion, quartered vertically, then halved crosswise

METHOD
Put the tofu on a plate. Put another plate on top and weight it (a 28-ounce can of tomatoes works well) to press the excess moisture out of the tofu. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Drain away the liquid and cut the tofu into ½ -inch cubes. Put the tofu and 2 cups of the barbecue sauce in a large bowl and toss gently until the tofu is evenly coated. Transfer all the contents of the bowl to a zip-lock bag and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the tofu from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature. Put the potatoes in a small saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium low, cover and cook until just fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Prepare a medium-high grill. While the grill is heating, put the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cayenne in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the potatoes, eggplant, green and red bell peppers and onion and toss gently until evenly coated. Next, thread the tofu and vegetables onto 10 metal skewers, distributing them evenly among the skewers. Put the remaining 3 cups of barbecue sauce in a small saucepan and add any sauce remaining in the zip-lock bag. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Brush the grill grate with oil. Put the kebabs on the grill and cook, turning frequently, until the tofu is lightly charred and the vegetables are fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Serve with the hot barbecue sauce alongside.

SERVES: 5

POMEGRANATE-PEACH BARBECUE SAUCE
– 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
– ½ cup finely chopped red onion
– ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
– ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 large clove garlic, minced
– 1 cup diced peeled peaches
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– ¼ cup water
– ¼ cup red wine vinegar
– ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
– 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
– 2 tbsp tamari
– 2 tbsp tomato paste
– 1-3 tbsp chopped chipotle chili in adobo sauce
– 2 tsp minced fresh sage

Warm the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and cayenne and sauté until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to blender. Add the peaches, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, lime juice, tamari, tomato paste and chipotle chili and process until smooth.
Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sage and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

www.bryant-terry.com

Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.
Photography (c) 2014 by Paige Green
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