Charmoula Lamb/Tempeh Kebabs from The Flexitarian Table

While summer is in full swing, we love to entertain on our patio so barbecuing is a natural choice. But what to grill for vegetarian friends other than veggies and firm tofu? I turned to The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley for ideas. I had enjoyed tempeh deep fried in Indonesian restaurants and I was curious about cooking it myself.

This recipe starts with a flavourful Moroccan marinade that is divided to season both cubes of lamb and tempeh. Tempeh, often sold frozen, looks like a slab of compressed whole soybeans bound together by a cheesy "glue" and needs to be cooked thoroughly to be palatable.

The marinade is a great compliment to lamb and would also suit chicken or beef. The tempeh was a hit: its natural rich, cheesy flavour and succulent, complex texture was suited well to grilling.

Charmoula Lamb/Tempeh Kebabs from The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley

Serves 4: 2 servings lamb, 2 servings tempeh

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh coriander
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin, preferably toasted and freshly ground
1 teaspoon ground coriander, preferably toasted and freshly ground
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces boneless lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup water
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

Assorted vegetables, such as summer squash, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and onions (optional)

For the charmoula: In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne and process to a smooth paste. add the oil and process until thoroughly combined.
For the lamb: Place the cubed lamb in a bowl, add half the charmoula, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerated for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Soak four 10- to 12-inch or eight 4- to 6-inch wooden skewers in cold water for at least 1 hour, or use metal skewers.
Light a grill fire.
For the tempeh: Whisk the remaining charmoula with the water. Arrange the tempeh cubes in one layer in a large skillet and pour the charmoula mixture over them. Bring to a simmer over high heat, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the white streaks in the tempeh have disappeared, so it is uniform in color all the way through, about 15 minutes. If the pan looks dry before the tempeh is cooked through, add a little more water.
Thread the lamb and tempeh (separately) onto the skewers, alternating with the optional vegetables, if desired. Grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, until well charred on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve.