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Beet and tempeh salad

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Inspired by my trip back to CA and all the yummy food to be found there, I made this beet and tempeh salad for lunch today and really enjoyed it (and ate some organic blueberries with Greek Gods honey yogurt last night for dessert… divine.) The tempeh and pine nuts really make the salad–that intense nuttiness and the crunch from the tempeh crust are so wonderful against the sweet, tender, earthy roasted beets and the tang of the shallot vinaigrette. I think the dressing would be really nice with a roasted hazelnut or walnut oil, if you have such a thing lying around, but sesame oil from the Asian market is similarly fragrant and nutty, and way cheaper.

For the salad:

2 medium-large beets

1 package wild rice tempeh

1/4 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped (about 3 Tbsp)

A few leaves fresh basil, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)

Approximately 2 Tbsp pine nuts

For the dressing:

1 shallot, minced

Lemon juice

Silver Palate Sweet and Rough mustard

Extra virgin olive oil

Dark toasted sesame oil

Salt

Pepper

Dried tarragon

Dried thyme
The night before, roast the beets. I washed them and poked a few holes in the skins with a knife (probably not necessary, but just in case), then put them in a pie pan covered in foil with 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan, and left them in the oven while I made biscotti–about 2 hours total. Let the beets cool overnight.

Trim the ends and peel the beets, then cut them into 1/2 inch cubes. Put them in a bowl with the parsley and basil. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat till brown. Add them to the bowl.

Fry the tempeh in a little oil, browning both sides over medium heat, till golden brown and crusty on the outside. I cooked the whole block first, then used an iron spatula to cut the block into 1/2 cubes, and fried these a little longer to try and get the sides browned a little bit. However, it might work better to cut the tempeh into cubes first. Either way, you should wind up with a bunch of 1/2 crunchy fried tempeh cubes. Add these to the bowl.

Make the dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Since lemons cost a dollar each here, I used bottled lemon juice. I have no idea about the proportions of each ingredient–I tend to try and do a 1 to 2 or 1 to 3 ratio of acid to oil by volume, with a generous spoonful of mustard to emulsify. I used a little bit of fancy New Zealand olive oil I got as a sample from Whole Foods, but mostly just the bulk EVOO from Bloomingfoods, and a couple of teaspoons of dark sesame oil for extra flavor.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Mmmm.

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Written by orata

July 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Posted in recipes

Tagged with , , , ,

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