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Introducing Cheryl Jordan!

June 4, 2012
Happy summer, CSA’ers! You all don’t know me yet, but you’ll be hearing from me frequently this season with recipe suggestions and tips for what to do with those fruits/vegetables/herbs you may not be too familiar with. After getting our first basket yesterday, I could hardly wait to get home and devour it. Something you’ll learn about me through these posts is that (perhaps like some of you) I enjoy using foods in a way that they’ve not traditionally used. So, on the heels on Mari’s fish tacos with rhubarb salsa (yum!) from last season, and so many recipes for savory rhubarb compote, I decided to try another savory take on rhubarb. I tend to lean more in the savory direction than sweet anyway, so this was an easy choice for me. The great thing about most of the recipes I will post on here is that you can substitute just about any of the ingredients with something you like more, and create something uniquely yours! Don’t like tofu? Make it meat! Or seitan! Or something else! When it ends up being amazing, tell us about it! As many of you may know, it can get difficult to come up with creative ways to prepare food every week, so if you have something that you’d like to see used in a recipe, or a recipe you’d like to see deconstructed and reconstructed, send an email or make a comment here, and I will make it my mission!

Tofu recipe inspired by and adapted from Lindsey Funston
Sugar caramelizing technique for the chutney adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Caramelized Tofu with Savory Rhubarb and Onion Chutney  

For the tofu:

  • grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, sliced into 1 inch thick rectangles, then cut in half to form long triangles
  • 2 tablespoons of spring garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (unrefined cane or brown sugar works here)
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (plus any other fresh herbs from your basket!) plus more for garnish
  • fresh ground coriander seed

For the savory rhubarb and onion chutney:

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4-5 large stalks of rhubarb, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of cooked whole wheat orzo (or substitute your favorite grain-quinoa and millet would work well)

1. Combine sugar and one cup water in saucepan over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until sugar begins to caramelize and turn golden brown.

2. Once this happens, remove saucepan from heat, stir in the rest of ingredients, turn down heat and let sauce bubble and simmer for about 10-15 minutes (until rhubarb has broken down, onion is soft, and the mixture is thick and creamy). Season with salt and pepper to taste (and throw in any other spices you think you want to! It’s your dish! Be sure to taste along the way). When the sauce is ready, let cool slightly while you prepare the tofu.

3. Season tofu with salt, pepper, and coriander on both sides. Add a splash or two of grapeseed oil to a large, non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add tofu in one layer without crowding the pan. Cook tofu in batches, if needed. Cook for several minutes on one side (until it begins to turn lightly golden). Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in garlic and sugar. Cook for several more minutes, flipping once or twice, until both sides are golden brown and caramelized. Stir in cilantro.

4. Place tofu over the orzo and top with a heaping portion of rhubarb and onion chutney. Sprinkle with cilantro, season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if you’d like, and serve with additional chutney on the side.

Easy Fresh Spring Vegetable Ragout 

  • 3 medium spring onions (about 2 cups)
  • 1 spring garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed, 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water (you won’t use it all)
  • 6-8 sugar snap peas, 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6-8 radishes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, with a dash of Bragg’s amino acid (soy sauce will sub. just fine)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt. Saute until onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in asparagus, then approx. half the water. Simmer covered for 2 minutes. Add snap peas and radishes, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes more. Add more water as needed, just enough to keep veg. from sticking to pan. Don’t drown! Stir in mustard until well combined, then swirl in butter and herbs. Serve immediately.
You can serve this dish as a stand alone, shave some pecorino or parmigiano reggiano cheese on top; serve atop pasta or polenta; serve as a side. The possibilities are limitless!
For the traditionalists out there….

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble 

  • 8 ounces strawberries, halved (quartered if large)
  • 8 ounces rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4 oz all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 4 oz brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Fresh herb leaves, torn if large
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until combined and slightly clumpy. Sprinkle over fruit.
  3. Bake until juices are bubbling in the center and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Garnish with fresh herbs.
One Comment leave one →
  1. nadinelew permalink*
    June 5, 2012 5:07 pm

    nice job, cheryl! i think this chutney would be awesome on a piece of hearty fish, like halibut or ling cod. going to try it!

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