A friend and I hopped on the train into London last week to visit Royal Academy Of Arts and their current exhibition by a post-war Californian master of abstraction. For me no visit to London would be complete without a stroll along the Thames between London Bridge and Southbank, to loose a few hours to free art exhibits, people watching and sight seeing. The vista never gets old. Lunch was to be a bit of a grab-and-run as to maximise our time. Whilst ordering our food I spotted a dish on the menu that caught my eye. It is rhubarb season in the UK and though nothing could highlight the pink stalk for me better than a pipping hot vegan rhubarb crumble, I was intrigued by their koresh (stew) dish of lamb & rhubarb. Interesting combo. I knew I had to veganise it as soon as I could. I wanted to know what rhubarb would taste like in a savoury, Persian inspired dish.
Like the day, it turned out nice! It also turned out to be a very happy accident. My intention was to replace the lamb with jackfruit. And I thought I had until I saw the texture of the contents of the tin to discover I’d inadvertanelty purchased breadfruit. In my defence it does look quite similar to jackfruit on the tin, but yes, yes, I am aware the word Jack bears no resemblance to Bread. But..I went with it and once the prep and simmering was done I realised that the breadfruit was probably a better bed fellow to the rhubarb. The starchy dense breadfruit is like a wavy potato but better (don’t ask me to explain why..just a more robust texture I guess?) Next time I will try it with my first intended, the jackfruit. But I’m guessing the breadfruit will win out. The flavours of this breadfruit & rhubarb koresh are delicate, the rhubarb offers a gentle tartness and the mint lends to the flavours of Persia. Both jackfruit and breadfruit are seriously low calorie, easy to digest and embrace the influence of herbs and spices well. Here is the super easy and quick recipe. I adapted a recipe I found online by Alison Hurst in the Telegraph.
Breadfruit (or Jackfruit) & Rhubarb Koresh – Persian Stew
- 2 stalks of rhubarb
- 1 tin (500g) Breadfruit or Jackfruit chopped into cubes
- 3 small onions diced
- ¾ tsp turmeric
- salt & pepper to taste
- a few strands of Saffron
- 1 tbs virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp xylitol
- Fried Herbs
- 1 bunch flat leaved parsley
- 8 stems of mint + 1 (pick off the leaves and discard the stems, or use them in a smoothie)
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- (Retain some of the fresh herbs for garnish)
- Melt the oil in a pan and sauté onion until translucent.
- Add the breadfruit (or jackfruit) and dust over the turmeric. Stir gently to coat. Add enough water to just cover the breadfruit. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15mins.
- Meanwhile, chop the herbs (my friend came to my aid and produced with a flourish a French mouli. It is a vintage herb mill. The photo below is of her demonstrating to me how to use it. It is a great tool. I now want one to add to my kitchen collection. So, melt the oil in a small fry pan and fry the herbs for 1-2 mins only to retain their vibrant green colour.
- Chop the rhubarb in to 2inch chunks. Throw them into the breadfruit pan. Then add the herbs. Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 mins. Do not cook too long or the rhubarb will disperse into the stew without a trace.
- Take of the heat.
- Sprinkle over the xylitol (or sugar for the less healthy). Stir briefly.
- Serve with wholegrain brown rice. Scatter with fresh minced herbs.