I don’t know about you, but nothing says autumn to me like a good pineapple recipe! Alright, maybe not, but living in North Carolina, it’s not like pineapple is ever an ingredient that’s in season here. While I do my best to eat local, there are some things that I’m just not willing to go without, like pineapple and bananas.
Lately I’ve been very into adapting meat recipes into meatless ones–it’s a good way to mix things up a little bit. This recipe is an adaptation of a pork chop recipe I found in Everyday Food. Back in Madison, there was a restaurant that sold amazing jerk tofu, so as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I’d try to make it with tofu instead. I had tried making jerk tofu on my own before and it just never wowed me–when I used pre-made jerk mixes, it always ended up being far too spicy, losing all the other flavors in the process, and when I tried making my own jerk seasoning, it wasn’t quite right either.
While the pineapple jerk marinade in this recipe might not be authentic, the heat from the pepper and the flavor of allspice will leave no doubt in your mind that this is jerk–the pineapple just adds another dimension to the sauce. One word of warning, though: pineapple juice breaks down proteins and it will start to break down your tofu if you let it sit in the marinade too long. So don’t think you can make this in the morning and then cook it in the evening because it won’t be pretty! (Trust me, I learned this from experience.)
- 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed for at least 30 minutes (I use the Tofu Xpress), and cut into 8 slices
- 2/3 of a whole (4 pound) pineapple, peeled and cored
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 small habanero or 1 large jalapeno chile, stemmed and seeded
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 tbsp. olive oil + extra for spraying or brushing grill
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- Cut four 1/4 inch thick rounds from pineapple; set aside. Cut remaining pineapple into large chunks. In a food processor, combine pineapple chunks, scallions, chile, thyme, garlic, allspice, and olive oil and pulse until almost smooth.
- Place tofu and reserved pineapple slices in shallow dish. Cover with pineapple marinade, turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours. (Don’t refrigerate longer than that or the pineapple juice will make the tofu mushy.)
- Heat grill to medium-high and brush or spray with olive oil. Brush excess marinade from tofu and pineapple and place on grill. Cook approximately 8 minutes (or until lightly browned), turn, and cook the other side for approximately 8 minutes more. Serve with leftover marinade.