Cooking Season has Arrived!! Well, here in southern Arizona… ALMOST arrived! Still, the evenings and mornings are getting a bit cooler (or is it my imagination?) and the kids are back to school. Fall vegetables are just starting to show up in the markets, but yet, there are still some summer favorites hanging around (I’m looking at YOU, tomatoes and melons!). It’s my favorite time of year for cooking and for recipe development! I go crazy!
September is one of those months where we all feel a new start is there for the taking. Back to school, back to work, back to buckling down and focusing a bit more than we allowed ourselves all summer long. It is a bittersweet time of year. Sad for the lost days of summer, but happy for the hope of a new season that, even though it may require more of us, pushes us forward with renewed excitement and vigor.
Here is Southern Arizona we are still experiencing days of 100+ degrees (F), but the mornings and evenings have begun to shift and our true outdoor time is approaching. The pool will be too cold in a few weeks (at least for us desert wimps), but we can begin to enjoy hiking and cycling and picnics and games on the lawn!
But most of all, it is a sign that cooler weather is nigh and that means cooking freedom! No more worries about turning on the oven, or having to sneak down the hall to turn the temperature down on the A/C so I can cook something on the stove without breaking out in a sweat! A shift from cold salads to warm soups and quick pasta dishes to long braising wonders. Today’s recipe helps to bridge that divide with a quick and easy sheet pan meal that is kicked up with the warmth of harissa flavors and the sweetness of roasting, but is still light and healthy and can be done well before the homework!
This recipe is adapted from one I found on Cooking Light. I had some eggplant that needed to be used, I’ve been meaning to play more with tempeh, and I wanted a quick one sheet pan recipe so this one was perfect. I, of course, had to complicate it a bit by adding some root vegetables (because that’s what I do) and juicing up the sauce. I also used the herbs I have growing in my garden and decided that cilantro and pine nuts go great with chili flavors. You could change it up to include cauliflower or broccoli and just use parsley instead of the basil, mint and cilantro I used. It’s very adaptable!
This is a great weeknight recipe! Try serving it with a side of fluffy quinoa or brown rice or feel free to add shrimp in the last 5-10 minutes (make sure you coat it in some of the marinade first!). If you try this, please let me know in the comments! I’d love your feedback!
Eggplant, Tempeh and Root Vegetables with Harissa Glaze
- Sheet pan
- 4 tbsp Harissa Paste
- 3 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp honey local, if possible
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice juice of 1 large orange
- 8 ounces tempeh unflavored
- 1 lb. eggplant diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
- 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes or 1 large
- 3 tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice optional
- 1/4 cup pine nuts about 2 ounces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Combine harissa paste, oil, honey, salt, orange juice and zest, and chili pepper (if using) in a large bowl. Add tempeh and
root vegetables (not eggplant); toss to coat. Arrange on a large rimmed baking
sheet; reserve some harissa mixture in the bowl.
- Bake 10-12 minutes; remove from oven. Add eggplant and onions to reserved harissa mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Arrange eggplant mixture around tempeh and root vegetables on
baking sheet. Return to oven, and bake at 400°F until tender and lightly
browned, about 25 minutes. Stir in lime juice.
- Transfer to a platter; sprinkle with herbs and nuts. Serve immediately. Include some fluffy quinoa, brown rice or Naan bread if you do the carb thing!