Friday, May 3, 2013


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We planted two rhubarb plants last year and this year they have grown amazingly!  Yesterday I picked several stalks and then had to decide what to do with it.  I didn't feel like making a dessert , so I decided a savory dish with rhubarb added for some tang was just the ticket.  Rhubarb (which is actually a vegetable) is used in savory dishes in Iran, Afghanistan, India (three cuisines which continue to intrigue and delight me), and also Eastern Europe, where it is often paired with potatoes (which actually makes alot of sense to me), and used in soups and even salads. Lots of inspiration here, which I may need if these plants keep producing at this rate!

Some time ago, I had seen a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine for rhubarb-stuffed chicken breasts and a lemony rhubarb sauce.  The sauce sounded delightful and, since I had just received a case of Soy Curls™ (see about this versatile  product, made with the whole soybean, here), I thought I could make a simpler, vegan version with them-- a little less sweet and using less fat, but keeping some of the richness to complement the tangy quality.  We enjoyed the results immensely, and the leftovers were even more delicious for lunch today!

Printable Recipe

Serves 4
This was loosely adapted and “veganized” from a recipe in the February 2007 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

8-ounce package Butler Soy Curls

(If you prefer,  substitute 4-5 cups strips of any chicken sub you like.)
4 cups boiling vegan “chicken-y” broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
4 1/2 cups diced rhubarb, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons vegan butter (try my homemade vegan palm oil-free Buttah)
1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger (don't bother peeling)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup dry sherry (or white vermouth)
4 cups vegan “chicken-y” broth
one whole star anise
1 bay leaf

freshly-ground black pepper
Steamed rice
Chopped fresh parsley
Lemon slices

Reconstitute the Soy Curls by soaking in the 4 cups boiling broth while you prepare the onions, etc.  When they are tender (this takes only about 10 minutes), drain them.  (You can use any leftover broth as part of the second 4 cups of broth further down in the recipe.)

Sauté 1/3 of the onions and 2 cups of the rhubarb in the olive oil in a medium non-stick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is just beginning to soften. OR, you can microwave the mixture on 100% power in a covered microwave dish or casserole for about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Melt the vegan butter in a heavy 
non-stick, cast iron or hard-anodized pot. Add the remaining onions, rhubarb and ginger slices and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the agave nectar and sherry, bring to a boil and boil hard for one minute. Add the “chicken-y” broth, star anise, and bay leaf, and simmer over medium heat (un-covered) for about one hour, or until the broth has been reduced by about half. Strain the sauce through a sieve, discarding the solids. You should have about 2 cups of broth left.

Return the strained sauce to the cleaned pot, add the reserved rhubarb/onion/lemon mixture and the drained 
Soy Curls .  Heat through and taste to for salt and pepper.

Serve over hot steamed rice, garnished with parsley and lemon slices.



susan said...

Fantastic! I was just looking for a non dessert rhubarb recipe and the soy curls are in the freezer.

eValerie said...

Thanks for posting about Soy Curls. I had never heard of them before I read about them here, and now I'm a big fan!