Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roasted Tempeh With Saffron, Hazelnuts And Honey

tempeh with saffron, hazelnuts and honey

The great thing about Tempeh - other than the fact that is a good source of fermented soy and a phenomenal source of  plant-based protein - is that its slightly nutty flavor gives way to whatever seasonings or aromatics with which you pair it.  Tempeh is a good stand-in for nearly any tempting recipe you see calling for meat.

This recipe, which I have adapted with the utmost respect, is based on a roasted chicken dish found in the wonderful Ottolenghi cookbook. The combination of exotic flavors {cinnamon, saffron and orange blossom} are a spin on the cuisine found in Marrakech.

I served this with a side of millet - rice or couscous would be equally nice. 

Roasted Tempeh With Saffron, Hazelnuts And Honey

2 blocks of tempeh {8 oz each} (*)
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
4 T olive oil
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1 generous pinch of saffron threads
juice of 1 lemon
4 T cold water
2 t coarse sea salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
70 g unskinned hazelnuts
1/3 c vegetable broth {with more on reserve}
70 g honey
2 T orange blossom water (**)
2 scallions, roughly chopped

Cut a tempeh block on the diagonal each way, in the shape of an x to yield 4 triangles. Cut each triangle in half to form 8 triangles.  Repeat with the other tempeh block.

In a pan, mix the tempeh with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the hazelnuts in a single layer on a roasting pan and roast for 8-10 minutes, until they are browned.  Let cool slightly, roughly chop and set aside.

Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet {1" depth} with foil. Drizzle with 1/3 c vegetable broth on the bottom. Add the tempeh triangles in a single layer using tongs. Pour the onions and marinade over the tempeh. Roast for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

While the tempeh is roasting, mix the honey, orange blossom water and hazelnuts together to form a rough paste. Remove the tempeh from the oven and check to see if the dish is moist enough for your liking.  If not, add another 1/4 to 1/3 c vegetable broth. Spoon the hazelnut paste over each tempeh triangle. Roast for another 5 or 10 minutes, until nuts are a nice golden brown. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with scallions.

Serves 4.

(*) found in natural food markets and Whole Foods
(**) found in specialty markets or online - also try rosewater, as the original recipe calls for

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Source: Adapted from Ottolenghi cookbook.

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