Earthy, nutty tempeh and tender, sweet cantaloupe are lightly coated in a blend of salty, robust red miso mixed with sesame and mirin, then seared and served atop a bed of simple, fluffy couscous tossed with fresh parsley. Dinner is colorful, fun, and on the table in under half an hour. And mirin pairs wonderfully with cantaloupe, by the way. For the best flavor and texture, be sure to choose a melon that's ripe, but not too ripe. Its flesh needs to still be firm enough to handle direct heat without falling apart.
The recipe below provides a gentle seasoning, but if you're feeling a little indulgent, no one could blame you for doubling the miso mix and brushing on a little extra after grilling. It's really good stuff. Really.
1 TBSP sesame oil
2 tsp red miso
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar
8-oz block tempeh, steamed 10 minutes
12 generous 1-inch cubes cantaloupe (from about half a small melon)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup couscous
generous pinch salt
1 TBSP minced parsley
Whisk together sesame oil, miso, mirin, and vinegar. When the tempeh is cool enough to handle, cut it into 12 cubes. Toss tempeh and melon in miso mixture. Set aside and heat a countertop electric grill (or stovetop griddle).
Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup water in a small pot to a boil. Stir in couscous, salt, and parsley, remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes.
Thread the tempeh and melon onto skewers (or not) and grill in a closed grill for 3-4 minutes (per side, if using stovetop griddle), until tempeh is fragrant, warmed through, and has golden sear marks. Fluff couscous with a fork before serving.