Harvest Tempeh Bake

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This is the recipe you take out when you want to impress for Thanksgiving dinner and take advantage of the late-season harvest. Tasty, savory, 100% comfort food – this bake doesn’t only look pretty!

Consider yourself warned however: this is not a recipe you make on a weeknight when you’re pressed for time. It also requires some specialized kitchen equipment (read a food processor and a spiralizer).

What you need:

  • 2 eight ounce packages of tempeh
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup tamari sauce
  • 1/2 of a red kuri squash, cubed, baked or steamed (about 2 cups; kabocha or butternut would also work well, it can be a couple days old and hanging out it the fridge – I know mine was)
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into large florets and stem sliced 1/2’’ thick
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 2 small heads of garlic (yes, you read that right)
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, leaves only, shredded
  • 5 or 6 medium potatoes, spiralized into thin slices (no, there’s no substitute for a spiralizer here unless you rock at slicing things super-super-super-thin. If you don’t, see the variation)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, minced sage
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-3/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth or water, divided (make sure the broth is UN-salted)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a small and a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the large pan, toss the head of cauliflower and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Move the onion pieces to the smaller pan and also place the two heads of garlic on the small pan.
  4. Place both pans in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Take them out, toss them around some, and then back to the oven for another 20 minutes of roasting. Turn off the oven and let it all cool.
  5. While the veggies are roasting, break the tempeh into bite-sized pieces into a large skillet. Add the 2 cups of water and tamari. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil about 10 minutes and then remove the cover and boil off the liquid, another 10 minutes or so.DSCN6015
  6. Once the roasted veggies are cool, keep one of the onions aside and put everything else into a food processor along with the squash (yes, you’ll have to peel the roasted garlic first, garlic peels in the food = bad). Also add a teaspoon of the salt and 1 cup of the vegetable broth, or enough liquid to leave you with a thick but spreadable purée.
  7. Chop the reserved onion into fine strips.
  8. In a bowl, mix the purée with the prepared tempeh, the fresh sage and the chopped, roasted onion. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as desired.
  9. Press the mix into the bottom of a 9’’x13’’ ceramic or glass baking dish.
  10. Place the shredded chard evenly over the mix and sprinkle over with another 3/4 cup of the broth or water.DSCN6019
  11. Spiralize the potatoes and toss them with remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add some freshly cracked black pepper if you feel like it.
  12. Mound the potatoes over the chard and put it all in the oven (still at 400F) until the potatoes are crispy on top and cooked through below (about 40 minutes).DSCN6022

Variation if you don’t have a spiralizer:

  1. Top the chard with mashed potatoes and cook at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until the mash is lightly browned.

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