Tofu-Spinach “Tapenade”

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    1½ cups

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Okay, so this isn’t really tapenade, but I needed to call it something other than a “dip” or “spread.” It’s really delicious, and I find it appeals to even those who claim they don’t like tofu. Use it like you use other dips and spreads—on crackers, or with vegetable crudités. A key ingredient is the cooked rice. I think it works best when you use a short-grain, sushi style rice. If you cook the rice in clear vegetable stock rather than just water, the tapenade will have even better flavor. If you’re in an Asian mood, substitute seaweed, like dulse flakes or reconstituted chopped wakame, for the spinach.


  • 1 cup softly cooked white rice, preferably a short-grain type, warm or at room temperature
  • 8 ounces soft or silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic or champagne vinegar
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped poached garlic
  • cup chopped green onions (white and some green parts)
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sesame oil, or to taste
  • cup chopped blanched spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


PLACE THE RICE in a food processor and process briefly to puree. Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable stock or water if the rice is too dry to puree. Add the tofu, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, green onions, and hot pepper sesame oil, and process briefly so that the mixture is well combined but still has a bit of texture. Add the spinach and pulse once or twice to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. I think this is best eaten the day it is made, but it can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.