This was our most recent meal from The Artful Vegan. We like to stay in and have a fancy meal on New Years Eve, with a nice bottle of wine to go with it, and for the last few years we’ve used the Eric Tucker books for inspiration. I’ve made quite a lot from them now, so taking into account some of the ingredients that I can’t get hold of, and some of Matthew’s dislikes, its getting harder to find new dishes to cook. I was spurred on by this, cooked by my online (not vegan) friend Gill.
Like most of the dishes from the books, you need to read the recipe very carefully because there are usually quite a few components and things to make ahead. I very rarely make my own vegetable stock, relying on Marigold, but I decided I would on this occasion, and was glad I did. It was easy enough, used up bits and pieces which would probably have been thrown away anyway, and made plenty to go in the freezer.
Next I made the tofu aoli, which also required roasted garlic, and marinated the tempeh. Once those things were done, the rest of the dish came together quite easily. The pecan dirty rice was baked in the oven, and, although cooked through, was a touch too al dente for my liking and I’d give it longer with a bit more stock next time. Everything else was fabulous. The sauce was delightful, rich and creamy yet light. I’d never baked greens before but they were lovely and tender and did their own thing in the oven while I got on with the tempeh. This was coated in a deeply savoury mix of spices then dredged in the aoli, back into the spices, and then fried.
The final dish – rice, greens, tempeh and sauce, was served up with a bottle of Zinfandel brought back from Napa. It was a huge wine and was a perfect foil for the zingy tempeh and creamy sauce. Not perhaps one for a Tuesday evening after work, but a lovely way to end the year.