Root Radical’s Week 1 share of veggies is so precious – it always feels like a small miracle to receive and taste the first flavours of spring. After a winter of rich and warming foods, it is such a delight to experience the tang of rhubarb, the green spiciness of bok choy and mustard greens, and the fragrant hit of mint. This first share is a hint of all the wonderful things to come – baskets overflowing with tomatoes and peas, bags and bags of salad greens – and it is also the perfect way to welcome in and celebrate the season. A big thank you to Emily and the RR crew for working so hard (despite so many challenges) to bring us an early start to the CSA season. I am so excited for what we have, and all that is to come.
Two very quick recipes for you this week – a savory rhubarb marinade, and a very simple spicy salad! Using rhubarb in savory ways is an exciting new experiment for me, and I like it! For those of you who are not tempted by this – I bet you have some delicious go-to cobblers, cakes, and sweetly-stewed rhubarb recipes. Please share these on Facebook if you have a chance! I love getting new recipes and seeing what people are cooking up.
Rhubarb Marinade (for Tofu or Chicken)
A spicy, sweet, sour delight – this marinade allows the flavour of rhubarb of take the stage, but tempers the sourness with hits of spice and salt. I used it on tofu, but it would be wonderful on chicken, especially grilled. Reserve a little extra to use as a sauce once the protein is cooked if you want a stronger flavoured dish.
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4-6 Tbsp water
Combine all ingredients in a small pot, and set on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until rhubarb is softened and saucy, about 15 minutes.
Mash with a fork, or for a very smooth consistency, whiz in a blender.
Use as a quick or overnight marinade for tofu steaks or chicken. Overnight will allow more flavours to infuse.
Cook protein according to preference – baking, pan-frying, or grilling.
Serve with Spicy Spring Salad, or whatever else suits your fancy.
Spicy Spring Salad
This is a bit of a cross between a slaw and a salad, but whatever it is it's pretty tasty. It uses hardier greens – bok choy and mustard greens (or kale) – massaged with a sesame and citrus dressing to create a subtly spicy and tangy salad. It pairs well with the rhubarb-marinated protein of your choice, rice/rice noodles, chopped almonds/cashews/peanuts, and a slice of lime. This recipe makes two servings – it can be easily scaled up for your needs.
- 1 head washed and thinly sliced bok choy
- 2 handfuls chopped mustard greens or kale
- 4-6 thinly sliced mint leaves
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp lime juice (or lemon)
- 1/8 tsp sesame oil (or a tad more – I find it very strong)
- 1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
- sesame seeds, roasted almonds, cashews or peanuts
Combine bok choy, mustard greens, and mint in a bowl.
Mix together soy sauce, citrus, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a jar or small dish.
Pour mixture over greens. Massage gently with hands.
Top with seeds/nuts of choice, and serve as a side, or combined with protein and rice for a hardier meal.