Sunday, May 10, 2009

Charmoula-Baked Tempeh with Beet Greens Recipe

One of my favorite cookbooks is one I gave to my sister for Christmas. She adored it, cooked through it, and the following Christmas, gave me a copy with stars beside her favorite recipes, and lovely personal notes about how to improve them. It is The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley, and it is fantastic. He was the chef at Angelica Kitchen in the early 90s, an East Village vegan restaurant, a place I went to from time to time, marveling at the fussiness of the orders from the clientele, and the patience of the servers. Even more than how I felt about meals at the restaurant, what I make from this book has bold flavors, interesting ingredient combinations, and make-again appeal.

My sister highly recommended a recipe for a Moroccan tagine with tempeh. I made it, preferred the tempeh on its own (as did she), and have made it repeatedly, without the tagine, over the years. This time, since I added beet root to the Millet and Quinoa with Beets and Scallions, I thought I'd use the beet tops in the tempeh. It resulted in more liquid in the pan after baking, but the flavors were great, and I had a beautiful looking dish when I piled the tempeh with beet greens on top of the grains with beet root for lunch. If you don't want to add the beet greens, don't. The tempeh is delicious on its own.

Thanks, Elif, for the great book. I wonder if my copy is as worn as yours.

Charmoula-Baked Tempeh
from Peter Berley, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

For the Tempeh:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, crushed (I use more, because I love garlic)
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 pound tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. To prepare the tempeh, whisk together the oil, water, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

3. Arrange the tempeh cubes in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour on the marinade and cover securely with the foil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tempeh has absorbed the marinade. Uncover and bake for several minutes longer to brown.

(If you are using the beet greens, wash them well, chop them into medium sized pieces, and add them to the tempeh before you cover the baking dish and put it in the oven.)


Peter said...

Dear Banu,

Just found you and your wonderful blog. You have a beautiful way of writing about food.

I love that you made the tempeh with beet greens.

I have a new book out that I think you might enjoy. The Flexitaian Table Inspired Flexible Meals for Meat Lovers, Vegetarian and Everyone in Between.

Please come visit me on my site

Happy cooking!

Banu said...

Dear Peter,

Oh my goodness! I am thrilled that you found my blog, and so honored to have you as a member.

I will rush out and purchase your new book; it sounds like another one I'll stain, mark up and bookmark over and over.

I'll be sure to find you on your site; I may have some questions for you.