Marmalady of the Night meets Tempeh Temptress

My new friend Jess just came over for tempeh experiments. Our goal: use her kickass tempeh with my sweet carroty extravaganza in an appetizer for a party at The Brooklyn Kitchen this Friday.

free beer and kombucha, umm, that’s a no brainer

I’ve never had tempeh raw before, but when Jess unsheathed this freshly harvested slab of white bean (no soy!) tempeh and handed me a square, it took all my will power to not gobble up the rest of our tempeh template. It’s hard to describe the distinct smell and taste to a world that only really eats store bought tempeh (which you wouldn’t want to eat raw.) I’ll try anyway: it’s like sitting on pebbles in a gurgling stream as spring is in full thrust all around you, half earthy, half damp. It’s a loud smell.

Anyhow, we managed to fry some up in a little olive oil (i.e. I didn’t eat it all raw.) It was fun to watch her cook her tempeh. I feel like I always cook mine wrong. Now I see that I must simply add a little more oil to the pan, you want the little squares to be sitting (not submerged) in a 1/4” of oil. Huh, funny how the gateway to cooking new foods can be as small as a quarter of an inch.

Tempeh to the left, toast and marmalady spread at the ready on the right.We toasted up a few pieces of my homemade gluten-free millet oatmeal bread, dropped the tempeh, a dash of salt, a dollop of charmalade and a sprig of fresh cilantro, and yum!

But then Jess had an even better idea for the foliage. Pesto! So I grabbed my mortar and pestle for a quick, tiny batch experiment:

10-12 cilantro leaves

1 teasp olive oil

dash of garlic powder

dash of sea salt

Method: mash & grind till it’s a fragrant, green pulp. (You’ll of course want to up the ante for a larger batch, and use your blender, perhaps, for pesto sloshing)

So get to mashing. It’s important to note that you don’t need a hip chick with badass tempeh to replicate this experiment. Try bending a sweet and savory taste palate with things you have laying around your house.

Before you raid the fridge, you best get to canceling your Friday evening plans so you can come gobble up these little treats and make kombucha/beer toasts with your pals. Free fun is the best kind of fun!