Friday, October 4, 2013

Tempeh, Avocado, Tomato, and Dill Croquettes

I left the farmers' market this week with an abundance of cherry tomatoes and dill.  I think dill has got to be my favorite herb.  Eating it is like biting into a vegetable garden. :)  Since I had so much dill on hand, I thought I'd use it instead of nori in the Tempeh Avocado Nori Cakes recipe that I previously posted.  For more color and flavor, I also added chopped cherry tomatoes.  I'm realizing now that these should be called croquettes instead of cakes.  Similar to potato croquettes, they're soft and mushy inside, but crispy on the outside.  The best of both worlds!

Makes about 8 croquettes

1 8 oz. package of tempeh, crumbled (I used Lightlife)
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped or ripped by hand
1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  1. In a medium bowl, mash the tempeh and avocado together until well combined. (If it looks too wet, like it won't hold together, add a few tablespoons of bread crumbs)
  2. Fold in the dill and tomatoes. Season with salt, to taste. 
  3. Place the bread crumbs on a plate or shallow bowl.
  4. Form the tempeh mixture into 8 patties (or more or less, depending on your preferred croquette size). Dip each patty in the bread crumbs, covering all sides well. Set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Fry the croquettes for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. (I did this in 2 batches of 4)
  7. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.
There's nothing that really has to be cooked here.  The bread crumbs just have to brown, which doesn't take long.  I haven't attempted a baked version, but if you have or plan to, please report back!  

Tomato-wise, the cherry tomatoes worked well since they don't contain much pulp.  Other meaty tomatoes, such as Roma tomatoes, would also work well here. You can also leave the tomatoes out completely if tomatoes aren't your thing. Between the avocado and dill, these are loaded with flavor. 

I originally thought that I'd stick these in mini slider buns, but I don't think they'd stand up well as a burger. They're fantastic served alone, topped with your favorite sauce, or eaten on top of salad greens.  The crunch is the best part!