THE sandwich we eat just about once a week in the summer…sometimes more frequently 🙂 I’ll let the recipe do the talkin’ this time.
1/4 C soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar, I use Tangerine flavored
2 T pure maple syrup
3 T adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch thick strips
1 small basket of cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil olive oil
1 T pure maple syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 small head of romaine lettuce, cored, then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1-2 large avocados, mashed with a pinch of salt just before assembling
4 or 8 extra-thin slices of hearty whole grain bread, well toasted
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, maple and adobo sauce. Pour 1/3 of the tempeh marinade into an 8×8 baking dish (or something comparable) – you want a dish that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer – this way it will be fully enveloped by the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and keep in the refrigerator for a couple hours, overnight or until ready to use.
While the tempeh is marinating, go ahead and roast the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and arrange them in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, and salt and pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet [I have also left them whole with no consequence].
When the tempeh is done marinating heat a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the tempeh slices for a few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches if you don’t have a big enough pan. Set the tempeh slices aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.
To assemble each sandwich take one slice of bread and slather a generous layer of mashed avocado or vegenaise. Place a small helping of the shredded lettuce on top of the avocado, a few tomatoes, then a few slices of the tempeh, and more tomatoes. Enjoy either open faced or topped with another avocado-slathered bread slice.
Note: we call these tomatoes “crack tomatoes” in our house…they freeze amazingly, so go ahead and make a triple batch. They taste great on tacos, in chili, tortilla soup, etc.