Palate: Move Over BLT

| 07 Mar 2012 | 09:46

“Do I smell…bacon?” asked my husband incredulously.

The aroma in the kitchen was smoky, one that Tom was familiar with. He recently admitted frequenting a bagel shop for an occasional bacon fix. I was determined to create a healthy and tasty alternative. Tempeh, a dense cake of soybeans and grains, was a natural pick.

We were heading to Sullivan County for live music and a picnic, so I spent the morning selecting ingredients for dinner. First stop, W. Rogowski Farm, to pick up our weekly farm share, a variety of greens and heirloom tomatoes. Back home I chose the peppery arugula and juicy, green tomatoes to complement the smokiness of the tempeh. I’d been wary of that bottle of Wright’s Concentrated All Natural Hickory Seasoning Liquid Smoke, stashed away in my pantry, but extensive research convinced me it was vegan and harmless. A few drops and the flavor was spot-on.

I layered the savory tempeh, mounds of arugula and green tomatoes, now encrusted in corn-meal, between slices of country bread from Janet’s Baked Goods in Florida. A side of slaw and a garlic pickle and presto: perfect picnic dinner. - Lori Marrie, Warwick

Tempeh, Arugula and Green Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients 6 slices country style bread, toasted

Smoky tempeh Fried green tomatoes

1 ½ cups arugula ¼ cup vegan mayo

Smoky tempeh 1 8 oz. pkg. tempeh,

sliced into ¼ inch pieces 1 Tbs. canola oil

Marinade 2 Tbs. Tamari or Soy Sauce

1 Tbs. maple syrup 1 Tbs. tomato paste

1Tbs. apple cider vinegar 1 Tbs. canola oil

¼ cup vegetable broth 1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ tsp. chili powder 1 Tbs. liquid smoke

Fried green tomatoes 2 green tomatoes

½ cup cornmeal 1/3 cup flour 1/3 cup soy or rice milk

Salt and Pepper 2 Tbs. canola oil

vegan, serves 3 Lay tempeh slices in a shallow baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over the tempeh. Marinate for one hour. Preheat large pan over medium heat. Brown the tempeh slices in canola oil, turning a few times until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. These can also be baked for 10 minutes on each side in a 325 degree oven.

Cut the tomatoes into ¼ slices. Coat in flour, dip in soymilk, coat in cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper.

Preheat large pan over medium heat. Brown tomato slices in oil until brown, about 3 minutes.

To assemble sandwich spread slices of bread with vegan mayo and layer tomatoes, tempeh and arugula.