Friday, June 26, 2020

RECIPE: Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb.  I rarely use rhubarb because so much sugar is required to make it palatable.  Imagine how excited I was to find a SAVORY recipe for it!  I actually found several rhubarb chutney recipes, and chose the one which had the lowest sugar-to-rhubarb ratio, and the most interesting seasoning. 

The flavor profile of the spice combination is wonderful!  The texture is good, too, because the rhubarb isn't cooked into oblivion.  I made a few changes to the spice preparation, because I wasn't happy with their texture, and I changed the procedure to eliminate the use of one pot.

Rhubarb Chutney
Makes 2.5 cups
  • 1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 t. coriander seeds
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced crosswise (1 heaping cup)
  • 1 T. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 c. mild honey
  • 3/4 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 " pieces (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a 3-quart pot, over medium heat, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until lightly browned.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temp.  Grind in a mortar an pestle.

In the same pot, combine the vinegar bay leaves, ground coriander and fennel seeds, cinnamon, and 1 t. salt.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to develop.  Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pot.

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir the the honey and the reserved vinegar mixture into the shallots and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.  Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick. 

Add the rhubarb and raisins, and stir to combine.  Cover and cook over low heat, WITHOUT STIRRING, until the rhubarb is tender and starting to fall apart, about 10 minutes.  If you do stir it, you will break up the rhubarb and it will be mush.  DON'T OVER COOK IT! 

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish and cool to room temperature.

Serve with bread and cheese, cheese and crackers, salami and crackers, or cheese, salami and crackers!

The chutney will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 weeks.  It should not be canned.  There isn't enough sugar or acid to waterbath can it, and pressure canning would completely destroy the texture.

Rhubarb Chutney and Quark Cheese on Sourdough Bread

RECIPE: Adriane's Tomato Salad with Coriander and Lime

This recipe was given to me by my daughter-in-law.  It's delicious with chili and other tex-mex style meals.

Adriane's Tomato Salad with Coriander and Lime
Serves 6

  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 large lime, juiced
  • 3 green onions, sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1 t. coriander seed, roasted and then crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes in half.  Combine with the other ingredients and serve.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

RECIPE: Green Pork Chile with Garlic Scapes and White Beans

I created this recipe in an attempt to recreate the green chili served at The Red Lion in Vail, CO.  We haven't been to Vail in years, so I don't know how close this comes, but we enjoy it as an alternative to the heavier beef chili.  This version uses green tomatoes and green peppers.

Pork Chili with Green Tomatoes and White Beans
Serves 6
  • 2 T. lard
  • 3 pounds ground pork
  • 6 medium green tomatoes (or tomatillos) , cored
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 6 large cloves garlic, or 12 garlic scapes
  • 6 banana peppers or 2 green peppers, cored
  • 3-4 jalapenos, or 6 jalapenos with the seeds removed from 3 of them
  • 6 t. ground cumin
  • 4 t. Mexican oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 t. salt
  • 1 15oz can white beans

If you're using garlic scapes, remove the flower bud and cut the stalks into 1/4" pieces.  In the photo above, I used garlic scapes.

Mince one of the onions, chop the other two onions.

Melt the lard over medium-high heat and saute the minced onion, and half of the garlic scapes if you're using them, until lightly browned.

Add the pork and the spices and stir well.  Add enough water to cover and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.

Cut up the tomatoes and add them to a blender jar along with the chopped onions, the garlic (or the remaining garlic scapes), and the peppers.  Puree

Pour the puree over the pork.  Add 2 teaspoons salt, add the beans if you're using them, and cook until most of the water has evaporated. 

Adjust seasoning.  Depending on how hot the peppers are, and on your tolerance for heat, you may to add additional cayenne or jalapeno powder. 

Serve with fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, guacamole, grated cheese, and/or sour cream.

white bowl of green pork chili with guacamole, salsa, grated cheese, and sliced scallions

Saturday, June 20, 2020

RECIPE: Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi

When you order this dish in an Indian restaurant, it's usually made with spinach (palak).  I've read that it can also be made with half arugula or and mustard greens (sag), but those aren't available in our farm store until later in the season. 

Senposai, which was created by crossing leafy variety of wild turnip developed from Pak Choi, with regular head cabbage, is available now.  Senposai's large leaves are easy to wash, easy to cook and have a mild flavor. (

I decided to use them instead and was pleased with the result. Senposai doesn't release much water as it cooks, and the leaves are thicker than spinach, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Our farm store has also just started selling Haloumi, which can (and should) be fried before eating, so I used that instead of the labor-intensive paneer.  Paneer is richer and softer, Haloumi is denser and - as a friend put it - squeeky!

Sag-Palak Paneer with Senposai and Haloumi
Serves 4-6


1/4 pound fresh paneer cheese or haloumi cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c. coconut oil to fry the cheese

1-2 hot green chiles cut into pieces
1/2" piece of fresh ginger
1/4 c. whey or water
1.5 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. paprika
2 T. ghee
1 pound senposai or a combination of senposai and spinach, mustard greens and/or arugula
1/2 t. garam masala
1 t. salt
3 T. cream

Remove ribs from senposai.  Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until soft.  Drain in a colander.  Chop coarsely.  Set aside.

Place chilies, ginger and whey in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree.  Add coriander, turmeric, cumin and paprika and pulse to blend well.  Set aside.

Heat the ghee over medium heat.  Add spice mixture then pack in the greens.  Reduce heat slightly, cover and cook 4 minutes.  Add 1/4 c water, then cook another 4 minutes.

Using 2 forks turn the greens over so that the cooked leaves on the bottom change places with the ones on the top.  Add 1/4 c water, cover and cook another 8 minutes.

Puree the greens in a processor or blender and return them to the pan.

Add the garam masala, salt, and cream. Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir well.

While the greens are cooking, fill a very small (1 qt) sauce pan with 1 c. coconut oil and heat to medium.  Fry cheese cubes 10 at a time, stirring, until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Mound the greens on a platter, sprinkle the cheese cubes over the top, and serve!

Senposai Palak Paneer Haloumi Basmati Lamb curry on a white plate

Friday, June 12, 2020

RECIPE: Harissa, Mint, and Lemon Balm Dip for Vegetables

Sorry, I don't have a photo!  We ate this before I remembered I needed to take one. 

This dip is delicious with carrot dippers!

Apple Mint, Lemon Balm and Harissa Dip
Makes 2 cups

  • 3/4 c. yogurt
  • 3/4 c. quark
  • 1/4 c. apple mint, minced (use peppermint if you don't have apple mint)
  • 1 T. lemon balm
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1-2 T. harissa paste, depending on how much heat you like
  • 1/2 t. salt

Mix all together and chill overnight.  Adjust seasoning and serve with carrot dippers.

RECIPE: Pasta with Senposai, Feta and Olives

Our farm is now growing a new-for-us green, SENPOSAI, which was created by crossing komatsuna, a leafy variety of wild turnip developed from Pak Choi, with regular head cabbage.  Senposai's large leaves are easy to wash, easy to cook and have a mild flavor. (

I had never cooked (or even heard of!) this vegetable so I searched for a recipe and found this one which tasted as good as it sounded:

Original recipe: Penne with Senposai and Feta

There was no photograph showing the greens-to-pasta ratio so I followed the recipe as written.  I made a triple recipe and used 1 large onion.  The next time I make it, I'll double the amount of senposai because I prefer a higher greens-to-pasta ratio.

Pasta with Senposai, Feta, and Olives
Serves: 4-6

1 pound penne or other short chunky pasta
1.5 pounds senposai
1/4 c. EVOO, divided
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add a generous pinch of salt.  Fill a large bowl with cold water.

Wash the senposai leaves, then remove the stem and center ribs (I used my hands to 'strip' them).  Chop the leaves into 1/2" x 2" pieces.  Blanch in the boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until they're completely wilted but still bright green. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs to the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  When the greens are cool, remove them from the cold water and using your hands squeeze as much liquid from them as possible.   (Can be prepared ahead to this point. Refrigerate cooked greens.)

Bring the water used to cook the leaves back to boil (top it off if necessary), add the pasta and cook until done.  Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 T. EVOO in a large skillet or saute pan.  Add onion and pepper flakes and saute on medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and senposai leaves, breaking up the squeezed handfuls.  Saute stirring often, until heated through, another 5 minutes.

Add drained pasta to skillet and stir to combine and reheat pasta.  Add olives, feta, parsley and remaining 2 T. EVOO.   Season to taste with black pepper or cayenne (and salt, which really shouldn't be necessary unless you didn't salt the cooking water enough.)

Serve warm or cold.