August 16th, 2010

Garlicky Thyme Tempeh

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Serves 2 to 4
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes || Active time: 15 minutes

Don’t be scared by the total time, most of it is just the tempeh marinading. You can let it sit for up to 4 hours, so go ahead and marinate, then do your shopping or protest on Washington or whatever, then come back and cook it.

If you’re just a young soybean and have never cooked tempeh before, the gist is that you’re steaming it first, to take away the beaniness and get it ready to absorb all the flavor. A long marinate and then it’s ready to be cooked to succulent perfection, either on the grill or in the broiler.

For the fresh thyme, I just slide off as much leaf as I can. If the stems are soft enough, they can be thrown in, too. Don’t be alarmed at the quantities, remember, this is just the marinade, you won’t be eating it in the final product, so you want to infuse as much flavor as possible.

I slice the tempeh thinly, another way to infuse flavor. Prep directions for rectangles and squares of tempeh are both given. Trapazoids and rhombuses need not apply.

Garlicky Thyme Tempeh is great for topping pastas or salads, alongside mashed potatoes and gravy, or tucked into sandwiches.

8 oz tempeh

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 tablespoons white balsalmic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon regular balsamic)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh thyme, leaves whole, soft stems roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Start your steaming apparatus.

If your tempeh is a rectangle: slice it into 2 squares. Slice those squares into two thin squares across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Now slice each square corner to corner, into triangles. You should have 8 thin triangles.

If your tempeh is square: slice in half into two rectangles. Slice each rectangle across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Then slice in half, into squares. You should have 8 thin squares.

Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. It’s going to smell like baking bread!

In the meantime, mix all mariande ingredients together in a big bowl. When tempeh is ready, transfer it directly into the marinade.

Let marinate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping occasionally.

To grill:
Preheat lightly oiled grill on medium high (indoor or outdoor). Cook tempeh for 5 minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula, so that it doesn’t stick. Tip: rub thyme and garlic on each side. Some will fall off, but not all of it.

To broil:
Preheat broiler. Keeping a close eye, broil tempeh on a baking sheet places 2 to 3 inches away from flame. 3 to 5 minutes each side. Baste with some of the liquid when you flip.

Serve immediately!

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