Today's recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. It's another recipe that has been sitting on my shelf for years without being noticed. It was absolutely delicious. In VWAV, Isa suggests serving this with cranberry relish. It does sound delicious, but I didn't have any of the ingredients so I just had it without. If you're planning on doing the same, I'd suggest increasing the salt a bit.
Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tofu with Baked Pumpkin
3 1⁄2 pound sugar pumpkin
2 t. canola oil, plus extra for deep frying
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1⁄4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1⁄4 t. salt
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, sliced length-wise into eighths
1/2 cup flour
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 F. Carve out the top of the pumpkin and slice in half. Remove seeds and clean them in a strainer under running water. Pat seeds dry with a paper towel to remove most of the moisture. Measure 3⁄4 C. of seeds and transfer them onto a rimmed baking sheet (if there are extras, bake them anyway because you will eat half of the roasted seeds before you have a chance to use them). Sprinkle with 2 t. of oil, toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping occasionally. They should be toasted a golden brown to a deep golden brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 F. Cut the pumpkin into slices that are about 2 inches wide at the widest point. Lightly oil the slices and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
The seeds should be cool by now so transfer them to a food processor and pulse until crumbly; the texture should range from ground to coarse and chunky. Transfer to a shallow bowl and mix in cornstarch, oregano and salt. Place the flour in another bowl, the water in another, and line up your three bowls: flour, water and seed mixture.
Heat 1⁄4 inch of oil over moderate heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a pinch of the seed mixture in; if bubbles form rapidly around the seeds, the oil is ready. Dip tofu on both sides into the flour, then into the water, then into the seed mixture until the tofu is well coated with seeds. Repeat with all the pieces. Place the tofu into the oil (you'll probably have to do two batches). Fry for 3 minutes on one side and about 2 1⁄2 minutes on the second side. Line a plate with pieces of a paper bag or paper towels to drain the excess oil when they're golden. Serve with the slices of roasted pumpkin.