Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pomegranate-glazed tempeh & vegetables

February 13, 2012
This is one of the recipes that I was first drawn to when given Super Natural Every Day last year - caramelised tempeh chunks will do it for me every time! But it was a whole pumpkin arriving in our vege box that got us there. Michael meticulously chopped the pumpkin, tempeh and eggplant into 1cm cubes and took a sizable cube off his finger while he was at it, so I helped bandage him up and finished this dish off.

The vege cubes are roasted in a tangy blend of pomegranate molasses and olive oil, then served with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and feta. It's lovely on its own as a whole meal or a starter, served with couscous or quinoa or shared at a potluck. For a vegan version you could obviously just skip the feta - or make vegan feta! - but I reckon some roasted flaked almonds or roughly chopped smoked almonds would make a fine substitute.

My one cooking tip here is to arrange the roasting bits sparsely on their baking trays - this allows them to caramelise properly. I started out with the huge quantities below (roughly double Heidi's original) stuffed high in their trays and they got soggy. Taking the time to bake smaller portions in batches is well worth it.

Pomegranate-glazed tempeh & vegetables
(adapted slightly from a recipe in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day)

2 small round eggplants
600g tempeh
400g pumpkin
6 cloves garlic
2 small lemons
2/3 cup pomegranate molasses
2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
handful of parsley, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two large baking trays with paper.

Peel the pumpkin. Chop the eggplants, tempeh and pumpkin into 1cm cubes. Finely chop the garlic. Divide the vegetables and garlic evenly across the baking trays and grate over the zest of the two lemons (set the rest of the lemons aside for whatever else you want).

In a bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, salt and chilli. Pour three quarters of the dressing over the vegetables and toss it through to evenly coat them as best you can.

Now the veges will bake best if they're spread out with minimal overlapping. This meant I had to set aside half the vegetables and bake them in two batches. The baking totalled 60 minutes per tray, with a few pauses to toss them around for even cooking. They should be tender but still holding their shape when they're done.

Once the vegetables are cooked, spread them out on a platter. Sprinkle over the parsley and feta and serve.


  1. I worry about that "super natural" stuff being bland, but pomegranate molasses is so far from bland, it's not funny.

    Will give this a go - maybe it'll make a dent in my huge bottle! thanks!

    1. Mattheworbit - blandness is not too big a problem so far. The cabbage might have been a bit muted, but this dish and the miso-curry pumpkin are as punchy as they come!

  2. Sounds lovely - hope Michael's finger is ok - you are lucky both of you cook as if I do this sort of thing dinner grinds to a halt or I have to give very specific instructions and it slows to snails pace

    1. Yes, thanks Johanna - Michael's finger has healed up nicely though it looked a little nasty that night!

  3. Mmmm, so very glad I found your blog! This sounds delicious and well worth giving tempeh another try (my first try was not so good, not so bad either but still left me wary). Oh and I'll definitely be giving that mince substitute suggestion a try too, thanks.

    1. We're glad to have you here, CheezyK! It took me a little while to acquire a taste for tempeh but I'd certainly recommend Michael's mincey tempeh lasagne as one of our earlier successes.

  4. I made this from Super Natural Everyday and loved it! Though I used the miso slather from another recipe in the book, not having pomegranate molasses hanging around. It was so yum... and the idea of nut cheese excites me very much! I love love love nuts. :-)

    1. We know that miso slather and also love it. :-)

      Michael made a vegan cheese once, and I'm keen to try more - a bit nutty for nuts too. ;-)