I was inspired by last week's visit to Red Lentil, New Haven't newest vegetarian restaurant, to attempt recreating their Tempeh and Millet Cakes with Ethiopian Bechamel, so I decided to try it out on this week's menu. For my first effort, I'd say... not bad. not bad at all.
The sauce gets its flavor from the Ethiopian spice mix, berbere, a mix of chili pepper, ginger, garlic, white and black pepper, fenugreek, and other spices. It's savory, rich yet mellow, and has a little bit of a kick from all the pepper. Overall, it adds a luscious depth to a tomato based sauce which was thickened with a creamy bechamel and a little bit of Daiya cheese for added richness. This was accompanied by some summer-fresh zucchini to balance out the heat.
The second entree this week was Baked Tofu with Agave Dijon Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans Amandine. I love the spicy sweet flavor profile of the glaze, which balances nicely with the creamy potatoes. A little crunch from the slivered toasted almonds rounds out this dish.
The final entree this week was a comfort food combo comprised of mid-summer veggies. I'm still seeing asparagus at the grocery store, so I decided to make an Asparagus and Leek Risotto with Sauteed Broccoli Rabe, Kalamata Olives, and White Beans. This was a particularly bitter bunch of greens, so I tossed in some chopped tomatoes and let it cook down a bit to mellow out. I think the flavors will come together nicely when paired with the creamy and sweet risotto.