Tofu escalopes with black olive salsa verde

Pressed tofu makes a delicious vegetarian alternative to chicken Milanese, with a crisp mustard and Parmesan breadcrumb coating

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:20 mins
    plus pressing
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 575
  • fat 31g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 50g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 22g
  • salt 3.1g


  • 600g small new potatoes (I used red-skinned Roseval)
  • 396g pack firm tofu, drained and pressed (see tip)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
  • 2 lemons, both zested, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
  • 50g panko or coarse dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, for frying
  • 100g bag watercress or rocket
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50g basil, stalks roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp small capers (in brine), drained
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • pinch of sugar
  • 50g dry pitted black olives, sliced


Pressing your tofu

This will transform the tofu from a spongy block to one that’s far creamier and solid. It will slice easily, absorb marinades and won’t break up when you cut it. Drain the liquid. Fold a clean tea towel over a few times, then wrap it around the tofu and set it on a large plate with a lip. Put something heavy such as a frying pan on top, weight it down further with cans and jars, and leave for 30 mins. The tofu will be about two-thirds its original thickness, and up to 100ml water will have been removed. You can do this the day before you’re going to use it, then keep the tofu in an airtight container in the fridge.



  1. Steam or boil the potatoes for 20 mins or until tender. Cut the pressed tofu into 4 rectangles, then splice each rectangle in half, like cutting a deck of cards. Lay the slices on a plate and sprinkle over the soy sauce. Set aside for 5 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Put the garlic, basil, capers, oil and sugar into a food processor with 3 tbsp lemon juice. Pulse until roughly chopped. Stir in the olives and season with pepper and a little salt.

  3. Put the flour on a plate and season with pepper. On another plate, mix the Parmesan and lemon zest into the breadcrumbs. Beat the egg, mustard and 2 tsp water in a wide bowl. Pat 1 slice of tofu in the flour, then dip into the egg and coat with the breadcrumbs. Set aside. Repeat process until all the tofu is coated.

  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the tofu gently until golden brown, about 5 mins each side. Slice into finger-width strips with a serrated knife, then mix together with the watercress and potatoes. Spoon over the salsa verde, drizzle over a little extra olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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