Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring sandwich with black bean tempeh

At yesterday's Portland Winter Market, Jaime Berhanu of Lalibela Farm offered me a sample of her latest experiment: black bean tempeh. Right away I was intrigued by the exotic black and steel color.

The flavor was mild and went well with the ginger-lime marinade I created. The texture is softer than soy tempeh, however, it crisps under high heat just like soy tempeh.

Black bean is the third sample I've tried, after navy bean and garbanzo bean. Jamie and her husband, Andy, are testing a variety of beans to see which one makes the best soy-free tempeh.

Each one's flavor reflects the bean it's made from while still offering the classic tempeh taste. Of the three, the garbanzo's texture was most similar to soy, but right now I'm feeling partial to the black bean.

After I let the black bean tempeh slices marinate for a couple hours, I cooked them on the griddle. Using toasted slices of a whole grain loaf I bought at the market, I served the tempeh with Raye's Mustard, mixed greens, fresh basil leaves, green onions and sliced red onions (my last storage onion from the fall). It was the perfect spring sandwich, and a wonderful testament to all the great food at the Portland Winter Market.


Anonymous said...

Hi - Wondering if you can help by providing a recipe for the black bean tempeh? I work with a non-profit organization that works to help increase local food security and access to healthy food. We would love to give a workshop on it! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I hope non-soy tempeh makes its way to the mainstream market someday! that black bean tempeh is gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Your tempeh looks incredible! Any chance it can be found anywhere close to Augusta? I am a camp chef and would love to include it in my whole foods repertoire : )

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Thanks so much for your comments! As far as a marinade recipe goes, I tend to mix either vinegar or lemon juice with soy sauce (or Bragg's), olive oil, a touch of maple syrup and a sprinkle or garlic and pepper.

According to the Lalibela website, the closest to Augusta is Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick. The farm also sells it wholesale and it's available through Crown of Maine coop. I'm sure Jamie could find a way to get you some.