Raw Southern Greens and Tempeh Salad (B)

August 19, 2006 at 11:18 am (B_minus (2.5 stars), Cruciferous rich, Quick weeknight recipe, Salads, Tempeh, Website / blog)

I was looking for a recipe with tempeh and basil and came across this recipe in a blog. I’d been wanting to try raw greens for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

4 curly green or red kale leaves, or a mixture, stems removed
2 collard leaves, stems removed
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
dash cayenne

Chop the kale medium fine and transfer to a mixing bowl. Destem the collards, fold in half lengthwise, and roll tightly like a cigar. Slice into thin strips and chop medium fine. Place in the bowl with the kale and add the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Work the dressing into the greens with your hands. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. Stored in a sealed container, Southern Greens will keep for three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Excerpt from Blogger’s Notes

I didn’t have collards so I just added a little more kale. I also used some really pretty purple basil, cut down the lemon juice to 1.5 tsp and eventually changed it to lime juice (was pretty lemony, I like it better with less), and used a pinch of nice kosher salt. It was good, but it was still kinda less than spectacular. So, … I lightly sauteed up some tempeh, splashed it with soy sauce (would have used sesame oil if I had it, sadly don’t…) and cut it into squares. I pulled out my mortar and pestle and put the torn basil leaves, the garlic, lime juice, salt, and cayenne in the mortar, then mashed it all up. I dumped that on my kale, then poured the oil on top. After mixing it up well, I tossed the tempeh on top, mixed it up, and let it sit for about 3 hours (I made it in the morning for lunch at work.) It was divine! I was surprised what a difference the tempeh made. I don’t know if it was any different because of mashing the seasonings together, but something today was very spectacular, so I recommend you all try it.

My notes

I used half lacinato kale and half collards. I did as the blogger suggested and mashed the garlic and salt and basil in a mortar and pestle. It was kind of hard to get out since it was such a tiny bit so I just threw the ribbons of greens in the mortar as well and mixed them around, them dumped the whole thing in a salad bowl. I followed the rest of the recipe as written, except I was hungry so only let it sit about 10 minutes. I tasted it… Hmm, interesting. Not too hard to chew, a bit grassy but the lemon/olive oil mixed together well and gave it a nice flavor. I couldn’t taste the basil though, so I added another 5 leaves or so. Interesting. I like the basil, although I’m not sure it melds with the green flavors exactly, more like just sort of sits on top and waves. But at this point it kind of tasted like a typical lettuce salad, so I decided to add a medium tomato, diced, since I had one begging to be eaten sitting on the counter. That was nice as well. An unusual but surprisingly familiar tasting salad.

Since the blogger was so enthusiastic about the tempeh, I thought I might as well try it. I heated my little skillet to high, sprayed with canola oil, tossed in 2 ounces of cubed veggie tempeh and tossed it while it browned, then added some mirin and soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to flavor it. Once it was cooked I threw it into the salad. The hot tempeh contrasted nicely with the raw greens, although I don’t think I could really taste the tempeh, it did add a nice contrast in mouthfeel. And it made the dish more substantial. I actually ate the whole thing as a filling and tasty and very healthy lunch.

Rating: B

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