So I’ve sort of been writing this book, slowly, intermittently, for oh I’d say the last . . . 2 years? Year and a half? I’ll have a flash of inspiration, work furiously for a while, and then put it down for 6 months, almost forget about it completely, and then *flash*, inspiration hits again. My creative cycle. See, I always have about a million and one random projects simultaneously percolating in the back of my brain. And one by one each of them – right now it’s this one – gets to take center stage.
“Cooking with Cultures“, the book would be called. Because lord knows the Internet is over run with tutorials on how to *make* fermented foods (Am / I / right?), but there’s not a whole lot of direction regarding what to *do* with said foods, once they’re made.
And that’s what I’ve been dreaming about for the past few years. Unexpected, creative ways of incorporating cultured foods into every kind of meal. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Sauces, desserts, and beverages. And this recipe, when it first came to me . . . well that was the spark that ignited the whole idea.
Tempeh + Pesto = Tempesto
4 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup crumbled tempeh (steam it first if you care to cut the bitterness)
1/2 cup olive oil, more if needed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons white miso
2-5 cloves garlic, as preferred
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
I served this batch of tempesto over rice spirals, with home-roasted tomatoes and green olives.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until completely combined. Adjust oil and seasoning, and serve – over pasta, as a sandwich spread, atop tofu or seitan, in a bean salad, as a party dip, or any other way you can conceive of using pesto.
The taste of the tempeh is completely masked (Damian is *not* a tempeh fan, but I serve this to him and he never notices). However if you’re concerned, you can replace half the tempeh with your favorite pesto-friendly nut (walnuts are my favorites, while pine nuts are traditional).
It keeps well and makes great leftovers!