less than 30 mins
30 mins to 1 hour
By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen
For the relish
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp baby capers
- 1 handful best-quality pitted Kalamata green olives, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
- 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
For the spiced crispy tofu
- oil, for deep-frying
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 50g/1¾oz cornflour
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 400g/14oz firm tofu, cut into 2cm/1in cubes
- salt, to taste
For the French beans
- dash olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 200g/7oz French beans, chopped
- 2 ripe beef tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- pinch smoked paprika
To make the relish, toast the fennel seeds in a pan until an aroma is released. Mix the fennel seeds, shallots, capers, olives, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes together to make a paste in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil to loosen. Set aside.
To make the spiced crispy tofu, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Tip the flour and cornflour onto a plate and add the black pepper and Chinese five-spice powder. Toss the tofu in this mixture.
Deep-fry the tofu for a few minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Carefully remove, drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and season with salt.
To make the French beans, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic together until softened. Add the chopped beans and chopped tomatoes. Add some water to almost cover, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beans are cooked. Stir through the dill.
To serve, mix about 4 tablespoons of the beans with 4 tablespoons of the olive paste and serve alongside the rest of the beans, topped with the crispy tofu and garnished with dill sprigs and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.