Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that has its origins in Indonesia. And its much tastier than that sounds.
See? It boasts a higher protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin content than its cousin tofu, as well as a firmer texture and stronger flavor.
I made this recipe for Tempeh Provenҫal from Vegetarian Times, and its pretty good. A few changes I would make for the next time:
- Double the sauce recipe (at least!). Its tasty, but there was just about enough there for the two of us.- I don't know what tempeh they used, but mine did not turn out all pretty and golden like their picture. I think pan-frying rather than baking the tempeh would be good, to give it a crisper texture. And cut the tempeh into six thinner pieces instead of four.
- VT suggests serving it atop rice, but I used polenta instead and think it was a good choice. The soft polenta is a nice contrast to the crisped tempeh and slightly chunky sauce.
- I also sprinkled some blue cheese crumbles over the polenta to add an earthy flavor to the dish, which went well with the tangy sauce.
The recipe itself was straightforward, though I was doing a few different things all at one at the end:
Cut your tempeh and put in a baking dish. Bring 1/2 cup white wine, 1Tbsp. herbes de Provence, 1 Tbsp. oil, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, and a dash of pepper to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour it over the tempeh and stick it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.
When its ready, put the tempeh on a baking sheet (reserve the marinade) and bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes.
While the tempeh is baking, strain the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add a chopped red bell pepper. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until the pepper is soft and the liquid is nearly absorbed. Then add 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp. drained rinsed capers, and a pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes over low, until the sauce is thick.
While the sauce is cooking, I whipped up some quick polenta: Bring 2 cups water + 1 cup milk nearly to a boil. Slowly add 1 cup polenta in a steady stream while whisking, so you don't get clumps. Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring often, until thick and creamy. Polenta will set up quick, which isn't a bad thing. By the time I got our meal on the table, after plating and taking pictures, it was no longer porridge-like, but still yummy.
The pepper sauce and polenta should finish up at just about the same time. Add 1/2 cup chopped basil to the sauce (I didn't have any on hand), and plate.
I served mine with some roasted Brussels sprouts. This is a hearty meal!