Sunday, May 7, 2017

30. Savory Rhubarb: Raw rhubarb-sunchoke salsa crude


Rhubarb grows well in the Pacific Northwest. Once established it can be a good food security crop. For this purpose, finding savory uses for rhubarb is a bonus. I have made Thai red coconut curry using rhubarb. I have tasted an Indian friend's sour and spicy rhubarb chutney. Another friend adds raw rhubarb to cole slaw. Here, I made a salsa crude for my black bean tacos with a side of avocado cream.

Rhubarb-Sunchoke Salsa Crude
1 stalk of rhubarb, minced finely
1/4 cup of pickled chopped Jerusalem artichokes
3 radishes, sliced and quartered
3 mini yellow carrots chopped
1/4 white onion diced
squeeze of lime juice and or lemon juice, to taste
diced fresh hot chiles, or sauce  to taste
cilantro leaves
drizzle of avocado or olive oil, Salt & Pepper
Toss all ingredients and spread on top of the tacos
See entry #15 for the pickled sun choke recipe

Thursday, March 2, 2017

#29 Raw Sunchoke Seaweed Salad - Vegan

Proportions and details are not worked out in this recipe, but improvisation is key in making salads and using what greens and veggies you have on hand. Vary it up and let us know how it goes.

Seaweed salad from the prepared foods area of a local asian market with the refreshing bit of crisp cucumber and daikon radish, drizzled in a toasted sesame oil based dressing and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. Shown here assembled with grilled tofu. The first time I made this I tossed everything together. Choose your options.

  • Scrub well or peel sunchoke and slice in bite size pieces
  • Slice cucumber
  • Finely grate daikon radish
  • Mix toasted sesame oil with rice vinegar, sweet rice wine or honey, and shoyu or soy sauce 
  • Bed of baby greens or spinach
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Tofu - marinaded ahead in shoyu, rice vinegar and sesame oil
  • Grill tofu and slice, serve on the side.

#28 Smokey Sunchoke Mac & Cheese

The only thing to say is that this is an excuse for Mac & Cheese made a little bit less decadent with a vegetable presence, and yet tasting as good as it comes. 

First there was a béchamel sauce with flour, butter and plenty of milk. Then grated sharp cheddar cheese and smoky cheddar cheese were added to the sauce with lots of stirring. Thickened further with grated parmesan cheese. Combine with pasta and sunchokes that have been boiled until soft. Salt and pepper.  Broil the Mac & Cheese in individual oven proof dishes until bubbly and a little brown. Top with a dash of Spanish smoked paprika or sirachi.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Sunchoke food security demonstration and art project at Bradner Gardens

Sunchokes are BIG this year
The fence art needs a refresh

Sunchoke Harvest at Bradner Gardens

Rain or shine!
What: Sunchoke Harvest, sculpture making, replanting for next year
Why: Food for the Rainier Valley Food Bank and some to take home
Where: Bradner Gardens Park, 29th Avenue S. & S. Grand St.
When: Sunday February 26th, Noon
Treats and test tasting
It's time to Harvest our over-wintered 2016 Jerusalem Artichokes, aka sunchokes for the Rainier 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mandala Art Lentil Curry Stew for RVFB

The Mandala Project involved community in art making with pulse and rice at BAAMfest, an event celebrating the multicultural South Seattle neighborhood of Rainier Beach, July, 2016. A collaboration with Elise, Lily and other good folks from the Rainier Valley Food Bank.

I got the email from Elise from the Rainier Valley Food Bank inviting me to design a large Mandala to fill with colorful lentils and rice for their booth for BAMfest,  an art festival in Rainier Beach, I was quickly on board.
Dinner guests and I tested designs on dinner plates, a recipe for the pulse and rice was concocted, to be distributed after the event  at the food bank so nothing would go to waste. We used gloves and people took off their shoes to keep the grains sanitized.  At the end, some rowdy kids romped through and disrupted this, but we still had ample supplies to distribute at the food bank.
Seattle Times reporter Alan Berger talked with us and photographed our project, see the online issue finds us as photo subject #12. 

Mandala Art Lentil Curry Stew for RVFB

1.5 cup of mixed lentils and rice (washed and rinsed)
32 ounce carton of vegetable (or meat) broth
1 cup of canned coconut milk  (optional)
1 Tbls vegetable oil
½ tsp ground coriander (or cumin)
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ground clove (or a couple whole cloves)
1 Tbsp grated ginger
generous salt & pepper
dash of cayenne pepper  or hot sauce

½ onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
cilantro leaves

Freely alternate vegetables such as spinach, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet potato, precooked and chopped, or added earlier according to cooking time. Optional toppings or mix-ins: raisins, grated unsweetened coconut, cashews, hot sauce, cilantro


1.     Wash and rinse the lentils and rice a few times before cooking.
2.     Add spices except for salt to 1 Tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium heat and stir
3.     add onion and garlic and a little more oil and cook about 3 minutes
4.     stir in bell pepper and sauté about 2 minutes
5.     add carrot and ¼ cup of broth, cook another 2 minutes
6.     add lentil mixture, broth and coconut milk, cook 30-35 minutes until lentil are soft, adding more water if stew becomes too thick.
7.     add salt
8.     add any other pre-cooked or quick cooking veggies and heat 5 minutes more
9.     stir in chopped cilantro and raisins at the end.

Serve hot garnished with your choice of coconut, cashews, chopped green onion, cilantro, hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

#27 Sunchoke Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young, an American Chinese Classic, is basically an Omelet.

Combine the following peeled and chopped vegetables: 3 sunchokes, 1/3 of a yellow onion, 2 green onions or chives, cilantro leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 3 mushrooms, 2 sliced baby bok choy, salt and pepper. Saute in vegetable oil for 3 minutes an remove to bowl. Add bean sprouts,  4 or 5 whisked eggs, optional add-ins*.
Spoon mixture in mounds into hot pan coated with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
Serve with soy sauce and hot sauce or brown gravy.
*optional: add cooked shrimp, scallops, ham, or bacon bits.