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First off, this one's for the deli crowd. The lovers of dark mustard and pickles. This pita, stuffed with spicy stone-ground mustard, mellow cornichons, crunchy walnuts, and lightly nutty tempeh all mixed together with bits of broccoli,  makes for a fully satisfying sandwich with great texture.

And while it's common to mean heavy potatoes and pasta when we say "comfort food," there's another, subtler, workaday sort of comfort food that is no less powerful (more, possibly) for being a staple dish you turn to day after day for simple, but serious, pleasure. That's this pita.

Tempeh-Broccoli Salad Pita with Stone-Ground Mustard, Walnuts, and Cornichons

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serves 4

1 medium crown (about 10 oz) broccoli, torn into large florets, tough stems discarded

8 oz tempeh

3/4 cup raw, unsalted walnuts

1 dozen cornichons

1/4 cup stone-ground mustard

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

black pepper, to taste

2 loaves pita, cut in half

lettuce (any tender variety)

Steam the broccoli and tempeh, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the walnuts and cornichons. Stir together mustard, oil, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

When the tempeh and broccoli are done, carefully remove the tempeh from the steamer and set aside. Add the broccoli to a food processor and carefully pulse (watch for steam) until well chopped. Add tempeh and pulse until crumbled, but chunky.

Add walnuts, cornichons, broccoli, and tempeh to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. Tuck a couple of lettuce leaves along the bottom of a pita half, spoon salad generously on top, and serve.