This is a nifty, vegan, one-tray-wonder, that’s bursting with flavour. It honestly couldn’t be easier to make. If you’ve yet to try tempeh, I urge you to give it a go. It is nothing like tofu – if that’s what might be putting you off..! Unlike tofu, it’s a whole-food with very minimal processing; it’s a small block of densely packed, whole, fermented soybeans. It has a meaty, crumbly texture, which stands up to marinating and roasting very well, and it’s flavour is somewhere between mushrooms and nuts. It’s usually available in the fridge section of health food stores.
I first cooked this recipe earlier in the summer and regret not positing it at the time; alas now the green beans and cucumber are almost out of season, best give it a go quickly!
This recipe makes a light supper for 2 people. Boiled rice works well as an addition, if you fancy something a little more substantial.
200g block of tempeh
1 head of broccoli/ 8 spears of sprouting broccoli
2 handfuls of green beans
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon mild rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon runny honey
salt & pepper
for the dressing:
1 small round shallot
¼ large cucumber
4 tablespoons of mirin
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
½ lime, juice and zest
handful of cashews, optional
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and line a baking tray with some parchment or greaseproof paper.
Top and tail the green beans if needs be; chop the broccoli into small, evenly sized flourettes, or trim down the broccoli spears if using sprouting broccoli; and coarsely chop or crumble the tempeh. Not to worry about any smaller bits of tempeh which crumble off, these will go extra crispy and add a pleasant variety of texture.
In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of regular cooking oil, and the teaspoon of honey with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Pour this roasting marinade over the prepared vegetables and tempeh and mix well.
Spread this evenly on the baking tray, and then roast in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. The greens with char slightly, giving wonderful complexity of flavour, and in they eight minutes they will cook sufficiently, yet retain a slight bite.
While the vegetables and the tempeh are roasting, make the dressing. This one will hone the knife skills! Finely, finely brunoise (dice) the shallot and the cucumber, zest the lime, and then combine with the mirin, rice vinegar and lime juice. The oil content of this dressing, as it were, will be made up by that which is on the roasting vegetables.
If you fancy garnishing with toasted cashews – and it’s a delicious addition! – turn down the oven to 180 when the vegetables and tempeh come out, and toast these for 3-4 minutes.
If you are looking for a slightly more substantial meal, some very plain boiled rice would be perfect, and I would double the dressing recipe, as extra dressing will be delicious doused liberally on top and absorbed by the rice.
Once cooked, allow the vegetables and tempeh to cool for a minute, before serving in bowls, dousing with the zingy and crunchy dressing.