Picatta is basically a lemon sauce, that usually includes capers. I didn’t have capers on hand, so I added olives, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. The glazed, sweet asparagus is a nice contrast to the tangy sauce. And the mashed potatoes… are just a vehicle for the sauce! Noodles would also be good with this dish. Picatta is also commonly served with chicken, I have used tempeh here. If you are new to tempeh, or aren’t particularly fond of the taste, I would suggest steaming it in the beginning for about 15 minutes. It removes most of the bitterness. We don’t mind the taste, so I didn’t!
This dish is a little bit more labor intensive, as you need three different pans to make the different components. The outcome is worth it though! This dish is perfect to serve to guests.
Recipe: (serves one large or two small)
8 oz. package of tempeh thinly sliced in large rectangles (for two, half for one)
1 T tahini
12 large chopped kalamata olives
¼ c parsley
juice and zest of 1 lemon (make sure not to get any of the white pith)
1 t garlic
¼ c chopped basil
¼ c chopped onion
¼ c chopped sun-dried tomatoes
6 small button mushrooms sliced
1 c broth or water
1 T arrowroot starch
1 large potato peeled and chopped (one for each person)
1 T cashew sour cream (or substitute coconut yogurt or another non-dairy, unsweetened yogurt)
12-15 asparagus (for two plates)
2 T dijon mustard
2 T maple syrup
First start boiling your potatoes (I don’t like to add a ton of water, just enough, about 1/2 inch). Next, heat a non-stick skillet and either brown your tempeh dry, or spray a little oil on the pan. After you brown both sides of the tempeh, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add onions to the pan and wilt for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and mushrooms (may need a couple tbls of water to prevent sticking). When the mushrooms are done cooking, disolve the T of tahini in some of the broth and add all the sauce ingredients (except the arrowroot and basil) into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the arrowroot disolved in some cold water. Whisk until thick and then turn the heat off. Sprinkle the basil in at the end.
In a seperate pan, steam asparagus until tender, add the mustard and maple syrup during the last few minutes of cooking with 1/4 c of water and let reduce with the lid off.
Once the potatoes are done, drain them (if there is any water left) and mash with the yogurt/sour cream.
Next, plate and serve!
I put the potatoes on the bottom, with two (large) slices of tempeh on top, the sauce around the potatoes and the asparagus on the very top (and garnished with fresh basil)!