Recipe: Tofu Marbella

The only meaty dish I missed after becoming a vegetarian was my Mama's Chicken Marbella, a dish she learned from our best family friend (who happens to be the mother of the Root Cafe founder). But then, sometime a few years in to my vegetarianism, inspiration struck: why not just replace the chicken with tofu or some other substitute?!  Ever since, this dish has been a firm part of our hearty, "American"-style repertoire, and has even earned a spot in the kitchens of many friends.

Here is one of my closest friends after she prepared the dish for another friend who had just had a baby:

And here is the lucky recipient of this recipe during a recipe exchange a few years back showing his appreciation:

And here is the recipe, for all of you to enjoy!

Tofu Marbella
  • 2 blocks firm tofu, cut into 1.5" cubes (or substitute a bag of Quorn chicken tenders for one of the blocks of tofu, or if you eat chicken, you can use 10 chicken breasts whole)
  • 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves (and with big cloves cut into halves or quarters)
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup Spanish green olives
  • 1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  1. Combine all ingredients except brown sugar and white wine, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator, tossing once or twice.
  2. Pour tofu and marinade into a 9 x 13" baking pan, and then stir in brown sugar and wine (it may seem like a lot of sugar, but the flavors will meld well so that there won't end up being an overly sweet taste).
  3. Bake 45-50 min at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, basting every fifteen minutes or so.
  4. Eat and enjoy! Great served with brown rice and a side of whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand, the latter of which you can also roast in another pan alongside the marbella.


  1. Tell me your thoughts on Quorn. I've never had it, and almost every time I'm in the grocery store I think, "perhaps this will be the day I finally buy some Quorn." I pick up the box and turn it over in my hands and consider the price and then put it back. How is it?

  2. I'm torn on the Quorn, samtron77e. When I first heard about it, I thought it sounded pretty rad, but that was also at a time when I thought test-tube grown meat (in vitro meat) sounded rad. Now, I am less primarily a vegetarian (someone who would be pro-Quorn) than someone who likes to avoid industrial food products (and therefore, who would be anti-Quorn). I'm intrigued by Wikipedia's first sentence on it: "Quorn is the leading brand of mycoprotein food product in the UK and Ireland." Oh yeah, and what's the leading brand of mycoprotein food product elsewhere? It's the "food product" that gets me (I am a Michael Pollan fan--Pollanian, if you will--through and through). That's all on the "opining" side of things. On the "dining" side, I actually think it tastes pretty darn good... Let me know if you dive in for a taste test.

  3. If I dive into that vat of mycoprotein, you will be the first to know. I promise.


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