This salad was born from a glorious idea a friend gave me. Something so simple, so quick it’s really a non-recipe recipe: slice up some tempeh, saute it, then dip it in barbecue sauce. I think that little idea changed my life. Who doesn’t need one more option of something to dip into barbecue sauce? After that, I realized it was my duty as a citizen of this earth to pass along that gem. You’re welcome.
But what else can I do with that? I needed to find it a veggie companion, without dismissing the barbecue sauce. I have a box of sweet potatoes in the basement, so they were destined to enter the picture. At the end of the farmers market last season, I purchased a 25 lb. box of sweet potatoes for $25 to last me through the winter. That was the end of October and I’m just now starting to see the bottom of the box. The farmers don’t clean the dirt off the potatoes so they’ll keep longer, and they have! I highly recommend it if you have that option. So, sweet potatoes, check! I had a golden beet in the fridge along with some red onion and goat cheese. And the BBQ sauce? Let’s turn that into a dressing! Hows about a salad? Let’s do it!
Salad Greens with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Tempeh Sticks and Balsamic-BBQ Dressing
2 Tablespoons of olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 block of tempeh (8 oz.), sliced into 1/4-inch lengths
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (here’s a vegan version)
2 Tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 bunch of red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
6 – 7 leaves of lacinato kale, shredded
2 handfuls of arugula
1/2 golden beet, peeled and shredded (I just use a potato peeler to shred it)
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
goat cheese (omit for a vegan version)
salad dressing, see recipe below
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes then set aside to cool.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and saute the tempeh until crisp, about 4 – 5 minutes. Flip tempeh slices over and saute another 4 – 5 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tamari and few grinds of fresh pepper and cook until liquid has evaporated, turning slices over to coat each side. Continue to cook until slightly charred. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad: place the lettuces in a large bowl, spoon sweet potatoes on top, then beets, onions and as much goat cheese as you like. Serve with tempeh slices and dressing. If you have extra salad fixins you can set those out for people to add more and customize their salad. Enjoy!
1/3 cup greek yogurt (use soy yogurt or sunflower oil for a vegan dressing)
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar. If it’s too thick you can add more balsamic vinegar to thin it out. Store in the refrigerator.