Tarragon is a less familiar herb to many, and that is unfortunate. Its slight licorice flavor marries well with white wine and mushrooms in a sauce, and here it enlivens the mild character of tofu. Tofu gets much firmer when reheated so it is best to cook this dish just before serving. If you want to get a head start earlier in the day, you can prepare all of the ingredients beforehand, and set them in front of you at the time of cooking.

SERVES 4

Вј cup oil

1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted very dry

2 medium onions, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms

1ВЅ cups minced peeled tomatoes (from 28-ounce can), well drained

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled

SAUCE

в…“ cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon tamari or other soy sauce

1ВЅ teaspoons tomato paste

Вј cup Vegetable Stock

Dash cayenne pepper

ВЅ teaspoon salt

Liberal seasoning freshly ground pepper

  1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the tofu and stir-fry until it is golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. If the skillet is dry pour in a little more oil. Add the onions and garlic and saut for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saut, tossing frequently, for 10 more minutes, or until they are brown and tender.
  3. Add the drained, chopped tomatoes and tarragon, and toss. Add the reserved tofu and toss again.
  4. Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and pour over the tofu mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook slowly, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.