Zucchini Salad With Tempeh


This summer salad makes good use of seasonal vegetables. Pick up some fresh zucchini and tomatoes at the farmer's market and serve them up with tempeh, a fermented form of soy and a good source of plant-based protein. (Personally, I also love tempeh's chewy texture.)

If you don't have or don't like zucchini, roast some bell peppers in their place. I used goat cheese but feta would be an equally tasty alternative. For a dairy-free version of this recipe, substitute raw pine nuts or walnuts for the cheese.

Extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm slices
Sea salt
4 ounces tempeh (1/2 block), thinly sliced (1/2 cm to 3/4 cm thick)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 small tomato, about 1 cup chopped
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese, feta cheese, or pine nuts

Warm 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the zucchini and saute until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Flip once, after the first side has browned. Sprinkle with sea salt and brown the other side. Transfer the zucchini slices to a serving plate and set it aside.

Add more olive oil if need be and sauté the tempeh strips until they are browned on both sides. While the tempeh cooks, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together two tablespoons of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and a little bit of sea salt.

As soon as the tempeh is browned and crispy, toss it with the oil and vinegar mixture. Allow it to soak up the sauce but don't let it linger long enough to get soggy. Lift out the tempeh strips, leaving excess sauce in the bottom of the bowl and arrange them on top of the zucchini.

Toss the chopped tomato with the remaining sauce, then pour the mixture over the tempeh. Garnish with goat cheese, feta, or pine nuts.